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Common Property, Communal Property, and Natural Resources: Some Conceptual Clarifications (DRAFT)

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Schlager, Edella; Ostrom, Elinor
Date: 1987
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Series: W87-13
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3862
Sector: Theory
Region: North America
Subject(s): common pool resources--theory
common pool resources
property rights
Abstract: "Conceptualizing and defining property rights is a crucial step in examining natural resources and challenges to their viability. How we understand property rights not only shapes our perception of resource degradation problems but also our prescriptions for the resolution of these problems. When the terms that we use as scientists are ambiguous and refer to substantially different real world situations, we reduce our analytical and prescriptive clarity. The term 'common property resource' is a term that is used to refer to many different property-rights regimes including: (1) The absence of any property rights, (2) The absence of a sole owner, (3) The absence of private property, (4) Ownership of a resource by a small community which regulates use patterns for residents, and (5) ownership of a resource by a large government which allows all residents of that government access to a resource under varying degrees of regulation."

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