IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled After 100 Years

  • Robert N. Stavins

The problem of the commons is more important to our lives and thus more central to economics than a century ago when Katharine Coman led off the first issue of the American Economic Review. As the U.S. and other economies have grown, the carrying-capacity of the planet -- in regard to natural resources and environmental quality -- has become a greater concern, particularly for common-property and open-access resources. The focus of this article is on some important, unsettled problems of the commons. Within the realm of natural resources, there are special challenges associated with renewable resources, which are frequently characterized by open-access. An important example is the degradation of open-access fisheries. Critical commons problems are also associated with environmental quality. A key contribution of economics has been the development of market-based approaches to environmental protection. These instruments are key to addressing the ultimate commons problem of the twenty-first century -- global climate change

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16403.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16403.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled after 100 Years," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 81-108, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16403
Note: EEE
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. John Livernois, 2009. "On the Empirical Significance of the Hotelling Rule," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 22-41, Winter.
  2. Eirik Amundsen & Trond Bjørndal & Jon Conrad, 1995. "Open access harvesting of the Northeast Atlantic minke whale," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(2), pages 167-185, September.
  3. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. James N. Sanchirico & James E. Wilen, 2007. "Global marine fisheries resources: status and prospects," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(2/3), pages 106-118.
  5. Robert S. Pindyck, 2010. "Fat Tails, Thin Tails, and Climate Change Policy," Working Papers 1012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  6. Stavins, Robert & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Discussion Papers dp-00-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  7. Malueg, David A., 1990. "Welfare consequences of emission credit trading programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 66-77, January.
  8. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 1998. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," Discussion Papers dp-98-12-rev, Resources For the Future.
  9. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Cropper, Maureen & Carlson, Curtis, 1998. "Sulfur-Dioxide Control By Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Discussion Papers dp-98-44-rev, Resources For the Future.
  10. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
  11. Aldy,Joseph E. & Stavins,Robert N. (ed.), 2009. "Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521138000, Junio.
  12. Junsoo Lee & John A. List & Mark Strazicich, 2005. "Nonrenewable Resource Prices: Deterministic or Stochastic Trends?," NBER Working Papers 11487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Smith, Martin D. & Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 2009. "The economics of spatial-dynamic processes: Applications to renewable resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 104-121, January.
  14. Lawrence Summers & Richard Zeckhauser, 2008. "Policymaking for posterity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 115-140, December.
  15. A. Denny Ellerman & Nick Johnstone & Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner & Juan-Pablo Montero & Johann Wackerbauer, 2003. "Tradable Permits," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 4(1), pages 3-32, October.
  16. repec:reg:rpubli:47 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 164-174, August.
  18. Kerr, Suzi & Sanchirico, James & Newell, Richard, 2002. "Fishing Quota Markets," Discussion Papers dp-02-20, Resources For the Future.
  19. Robert W. Hahn, 1984. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 753-765.
  20. Stavins, Robert, 2000. "Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments," Working Paper Series rwp00-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  21. Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
  22. Parry, Ian & Pizer, William & Fischer, Carolyn, 1998. "Instrument Choice for Environmental Protection When Technological Innovation is Endogenous," Discussion Papers dp-99-04, Resources For the Future.
  23. Robert N. Stavins, 2008. "Addressing climate change with a comprehensive US cap-and-trade system," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 298-321, Summer.
  24. James E. Wilen, 2007. "Economics of Spatial-Dynamic Processes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1134-1144.
  25. Smith, Martin D. & Wilen, James E., 2003. "Economic impacts of marine reserves: the importance of spatial behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-206, September.
  26. Aldy,Joseph E. & Stavins,Robert N. (ed.), 2009. "Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521137850, Junio.
  27. Louis Kaplow, 2010. "Taxes, Permits, and Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 16268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2012. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 608-12, February.
  29. William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Lethal Model 2: The Limits to Growth Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 1-60.
  30. Elinor Ostrom, 2011. "Reflections on "Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation"," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 49-63, February.
  31. Jung, Chulho & Krutilla, Kerry & Boyd, Roy, 1996. "Incentives for Advanced Pollution Abatement Technology at the Industry Level: An Evaluation of Policy Alternatives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 95-111, January.
  32. Robert S. Pindyck, 1984. "Uncertainty in the Theory of Renewable Resource Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 289-303.
  33. Freeman, Jody & Kolstad, Charles D., 2006. "Moving to Markets in Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Twenty Years of Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195189650, December.
  34. Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, 2010. "The Effect of Allowance Allocations on Cap-and-Trade System Performance," NBER Working Papers 15854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-39, December.
  36. Aldy,Joseph E. & Stavins,Robert N. (ed.), 2009. "Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521129527, Junio.
  37. Joseph E. Aldy & Scott Barrett & Robert N. Stavins, 2003. "Thirteen Plus One: A Comparison of Global Climate Policy Architectures," Working Papers 2003.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  38. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard, 1998. "The Political Economy of Market-Based Environmental Policy: The U.S. Acid Rain Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-83, April.
  39. Weber, Thomas A. & Neuhoff, Karsten, 2010. "Carbon markets and technological innovation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 115-132, September.
  40. Suzi Kerr & Richard G. Newell, 2003. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 317-343, 09.
  41. Thomas W. Hazlett & Roberto E. Muñoz, 2009. "A welfare analysis of spectrum allocation policies," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 424-454.
  42. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, Junio.
  43. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116.
  44. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "Market-Based Policy Options to Control U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 5-27, Spring.
  45. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
  46. 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.
  47. Homans, Frances R. & Wilen, James E., 1997. "A Model of Regulated Open Access Resource Use," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21, January.
  48. Opsomer Jean-Didier & Conrad Jon M., 1994. "An Open-Access Analysis of the Northern Anchovy Fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, July.
  49. Weitzman, Martin L., 2002. "Landing Fees vs Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 325-338, March.
  50. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  51. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
  52. Ostrom, Elinor, 2009. "Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2009-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
  53. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S43-S63, November.
  54. Henderson, J. V. & Tugwell, M., 1979. "Exploitation of the lobster fishery: Some empirical results," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 287-296, December.
  55. Hahn, Robert W., 1982. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," Working Papers 402, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  56. Daniel Bromley, 1992. "The commons, common property, and environmental policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, January.
  57. Nathaniel O. Keohane, 2009. "Cap and Trade, Rehabilitated: Using Tradable Permits to Control U.S. Greenhouse Gases," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 42-62, Winter.
  58. Ellerman,A. Denny & Convery,Frank J. & de Perthuis,Christian, 2010. "Pricing Carbon," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196475, Junio.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16403. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.