Analyse économique des droits de propriété

7949 mots 32 pages
E C O L O G IC A L E C O N O M IC S 6 8 ( 2 0 09 ) 17 4 0 –1 74 8

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Inefficiency and common property regimes
Daniel Fuentes-Castro
University of Zaragoza, Department of Economic Analysis, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration, Gran Vía, 2, 50005 Zaragoza, Spain

Article history: Received 5 April 2006 Received in revised form 8 November 2008 Accepted 9 November 2008 Available online 29 December 2008 Keywords: Commons Anticommons Overexploitation Underutilization Natural resources Common property JEL classification: Q20; Q30

Much of the literature on the commons focuses on the fact that many agents are assigned usage rights simultaneously, but less attention has been paid to the exercise of exclusion rights. The simultaneous exercise of one of the two rights by all the owners of a common causes a problem of overexploitation in the first case (competition “in use”) and underuse in the second (competition “in exclusion”). The relevance of both inefficiencies stems from the way they illustrate the general conflict between individual and collective interests. This paper proposes a formal synthesis of the problems of inefficiency associated with the exploitation of resources in common property regimes. The synthesis takes into account the following features: i) the importance of the consumer surplus for the analysis of the issue; ii) the attitude of economic agents in the face of a reciprocal externality linked to the exploitation of the common; and iii) the social and the private costs of exploitation. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



Though the problem of resource overexploitation was first formalized by Gordon (1954), it was not until the publication of a paper by Hardin (1968), in which the author coined the expression “tragedy of the

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