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Does Inequality Lead To Greater Efficiency In The Use Of Local Commons? The Role Of Strategic Investments In Capacity

  • Aggarwal, Rimjhim
  • Narayan, Tulika A.
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    This paper examines the impact of inequality in access to credit on efficiency in extraction from a common resource. A dynamic model is developed, where agents strategically choose the level of sunk capacity and the consequent extraction path. Sunk capacity is a function of cost of credit and serves as a commitment device to deter entry or force exit. Contrary to previous studies based on static settings, our results show that greater inequality does not necessarily lead to greater efficiency in extraction. In particular, we show that under moderate inequality, the resource stock is lower than that under perfect equality.

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    Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 28572.

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    Date of creation: 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:28572
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    1. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons: Part I: The Unregulated Case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 451-82, October.
    3. Johnson, Ronald N & Libecap, Gary D, 1982. "Contracting Problems and Regulation: The Case of the Fishery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1005-22, December.
    4. Baland, J.M. & Platteau, J.P., 1994. "Does Hiterogeneity Hinder Collective Action," Papers 146, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Capital as a commitment: Strategic investment to deter mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 227-250, December.
    6. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons, Part II: The Regulated Case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-22, January.
    7. Gisser, Micha, 1983. "Groundwater: Focusing on the Real Issue," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1001-27, December.
    8. Dasgupta,P. S. & Heal,G. M., 1985. "Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521297615.
    9. Provencher Bill & Burt Oscar, 1993. "The Externalities Associated with the Common Property Exploitation of Groundwater," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 139-158, March.
    10. Jeff Dayton-Johnson and Pranab Bardhan., 1996. "Inequality and Conservation on the Local Commons: A Theoretical Exercise," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-071, University of California at Berkeley.
    11. Copeland, Brian R., 1990. "Strategic enhancement and destruction of fisheries and the environment in the presence of international externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 213-226, November.
    12. Cornes, Richard & Mason, Charles F & Sandler, Todd, 1986. "The Commons and the Optimal Number of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 641-46, August.
    13. Baland, J-M & Platteau, J-P, 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons," Papers 193, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
    14. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
    15. Pranab Bardhan., 1993. "Rational Fools and Cooperation in a Poor Hydraulic Economy," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-015, University of California at Berkeley.
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