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The Paradox of the Commons

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chambers, Alan
Conference: Common Property Conference, the Second Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Conf. Date: September 1991
Date: 1991
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2250
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): common pool resources--theory
tragedy of the commons--case studies
Abstract: "Within agencies which manage forest, fisheries and other natural resources, the notion that overexploitation, a behaviour known as 'the tragedy of the commons', can be averted by privatization is conventional wisdom. Proof of this wisdom is nowhere more apparent than in design and implementation of individual transferable quotas, ITQ's, in fisheries of Canada and other nations. "To falsify the hypothesis, that 'privatization prevents overexploitation', evidence is drawn from the practice of agriculture in Canada and eastern Caribbean. Further examination of this evidence leads to the paradoxical conclusion that 'the tragedy of the commons' can only be controlled by returning privately owned property rights to a collective management regime or commons."

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