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Community Management: An Optimal Resource Regime for Forests in Developing Economies?

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Kant, Sashi; Berry, Albert; Nautiyal, J. C.
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3749
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): resource management--developing countries
forest management--developing countries
common pool resources--economics
forest management--economics
transaction costs--developing countries
open access--developing countries
forest management--models
forest management--theory
Abstract: "An important strand of thinking about efficient use of natural resources is the economic theory of commons. A conventional view is that common property rights are inconsistent with efficient utilization of natural resources in the absence of some form of government intervention, and that given the impediments to effective intervention private property rights are a better bet. Rose (1994) challenges the validity of this proposition for some types of property, and concludes that communal management may be socially wealth-enhancing for properties with certain of the characteristics of public goods, such as roads and waterways. Also calling the conventional theory into question is a rich and growing body of empirical evidence from around the world which points to the successful management of a wide variety of natural resources as common/communal property. Some authors have used game-theoretic frameworks to explain the observed frequency of collective action in natural resource management. While such game-theoretic models, together with the empirical literature, offer important insights into the sustainability of common property regimes, a solid theory of the optimal institutional bases for resource management is necessary both for a fully satisfactory understanding of such regimes and as a basis for policy prescriptions. In this paper, we attempt a more formal theory of optimal resource regimes in which institutional factors are taken account of explicitly."

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