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Property Rights for the Protection of the Environment

Anno XXXIII, n. 143, gennaio-febbraio 1998
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Centro Einaudi


Testo disponibile solo in lingua inglese.
To illustrate the management challenges faced by those who wish to avoid the tragedy of the commons (as defined by Garrett Hardin in his famous 1968 article), the authors extend Hardin’s village example by considering the two different forms of social arrangement he suggested as possible solutions to the problem: political management and private property. The pros and cons of each arrangement are evaluated for a series of management issues, including enforcement, risk management, information costs, cost-benefit calculus, site-specific management, flexibility, incentives, innovation, time frames, priorities and transaction costs. The conclusion is that private management through clearly defined property rights is superior to political management on every count. We can improve resources management greatly by relying more on property rights and market forces and less on political management.