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The Tragedy of the Anti-Commons: A New Problem. An Application to the Fisheries

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  • José António Filipe
  • Manuel Alberto M. Ferreira
  • Manuel Coelho

Abstract

The operation and management of common property resources (“the commons”) have been exhaustively examined in economics and political science, both in formal analysis and in practical applications. “Tragedy of the Commons” metaphor helps to explain why people overuse shared resources. On the other side, Anti-Commons Theory is a recent theory presented by scientists to explain several situations about new Property Rights concerns. An “anti-commons” problem arises when there are multiple rights to exclude. Little attention has been given to the setting where more than one person is assigned with exclusion rights, which may be exercised. We analyze the “anti-commons” problem in which resources are inefficiently underutilized rather than over-utilized as in the familiar commons setting. In fact, these two problems are symmetrical in several aspects.

Suggested Citation

  • José António Filipe & Manuel Alberto M. Ferreira & Manuel Coelho, 2007. "The Tragedy of the Anti-Commons: A New Problem. An Application to the Fisheries," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/16, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp162007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
    2. Norbert Schulz & Francesco Parisi & Ben Depoorter, 2002. "Fragmentation in Property: Towards a General Model," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(4), pages 594-594, December.
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    Keywords

    Anti-Commons Theory; Property Rights;

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