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Housing privatization in Romania: An Anti†commons tragedy?

Robert Buckley () and Ashna Mathema

The Economics of Transition, 2018, vol. 26, issue 1, 127-145

Abstract: Over the past three decades, Romanian housing rights changed from a strictly managed public stock to one governed by individual decision†making. And while it is typical that widespread private ownership provides a basis for a well†functioning housing market, in Romania this has not been the case. Indeed, rather than creating a market that spontaneously allocates resources efficiently, housing privatization in Romania has created exclusion rights, thus creating an Anti†commons problem. This problem can have effects similar to those of the tragedy of the Commons in which those who share a common good overuse it. In the Anti†commons, in contrast, if too many owners have the right to exclude others from use of a resource, the resource is underused. In both cases, the rights allocation wastes resources.

Date: 2018
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