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Institutions and Common-Pool Resources in the Third World: What Works? (A Proposal Submitted to USAID to Support a Research Project)

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Ostrom, Elinor
Date: 1986
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Bloomington, Indiana
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4062
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): institutional analysis
common pool resources--developing countries
foreign aid
project implementation
rural development--developing countries
tragedy of the commons
Abstract: From page 1: "One of the most important and persistent problems of development in Third World countries is how to manage a variety of common-pool resources such as grazing and crop lands, forests, fisheries, and water resources. While technology transfer of one kind or another may be important in enhancing the management of common-pool resources, it appears to several serious scholars that the more fundamental problem in managing these resources is the design of appropriate institutions (Bromley, Taylor, and Parker, 1980; Bendor and Mookherjee, 1985; Carruthers and Stoner, 1981; R. Hardin, 1982). As Jon R. Moris (1984: 97) has cogently argued, the 'question of what institutional forms should be used in rural development has up to now been a matter of policy choice, but not one of research.' Moris argues that, in light of the vast sums spent by donor agencies in attempts to enhance rural development 'the costs of learning how to make better choices would he modest'(1984: 97)."

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