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

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  • Aggarwal, Rimjhim
  • Narayan, Tulika A.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aggarwal, Rimjhim & Narayan, Tulika A., 2000. "Does Inequality Lead To Greater Efficiency In The Use Of Local Commons? The Role Of Strategic Investments In Capacity," Working Papers 28572, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:28572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. Baland, J.M. & Platteau, J.P., 1994. "Does Hiterogeneity Hinder Collective Action," Papers 146, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
    7. 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 1005-1022, December.
    8. 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 451-482, October.
    9. Gisser, Micha, 1983. "Groundwater: Focusing on the Real Issue," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1001-1027, December.
    10. Bardhan, Pranab, 1993. "Rational Fools and Cooperation in a Poor Hydraulic Economy," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233195, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    11. 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.
    12. 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 124-124.
    13. 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.
    14. Richard Cornes & Charles F. Mason & Todd Sandler, 1986. "The Commons and the Optimal Number of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 641-646.
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    Keywords

    Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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