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The tradeoff of the commons

Randolph McAfee and Alan Miller ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2012, vol. 96, issue 3, 349-353

Abstract: We develop a model of scarce, renewable resources to study the commons problem. We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, property rights can often be less efficient than a commons. In particular, we study two effects: (1) waste which arises when individuals expend resources to use a resource unavailable due to congestion and (2) the risk of underutilization of the resource. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for each effect to dominate the other when the cost of determining the availability of a resource is low.

Keywords: Tragedy of the commons; Office hours; Appointments; Property rights; Reservations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 D45 K23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Working Paper: The Tradeoff of the Commons (2010) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:3:p:349-353

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.12.003

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