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Tradition and Common Property Management

  • Matthew A. Turner

Since management of a common property resource can only be undertaken by a government of finitely lived agents, a natural way to study common property management is to study the behavior of such governments. This paper proposes that the choice of management objective by a government of finitely lived agents be regarded as a ``move'' in a game of sequential agents. Given this framework, it is shown that there exist subgame perfect equilibria in which each successive government chooses the same ``traditional'' management objective. These strategies enable an economy to overcome an intergenerational externality which can occur otherwise. Thus, following a tradition of conservation may be a rational response to an intergenerational externality. While the paper is primarily concerned with common property economies, the results also apply to private property economies and are relevant to the current debate over ``sustainability''

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/UT-ECIPA-MTURNER-95-01.ps
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number mturner-95-01.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:mturner-95-01
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  1. Solow, Robert, 1993. "An almost practical step toward sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-172, September.
  2. Matthew A. Turner, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Common Property Regulation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 809-21, November.
  3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  4. Olson, Lars J. & Knapp, Keith C., 1997. "Exhaustible Resource Allocation in an Overlapping Generations Economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 277-292, March.
  5. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92, January.
  6. Cremer, Jacques, 1986. "Cooperation in Ongoing Organizations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 33-49, February.
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