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The Origins of Institutions for Collective Action in Common-Pool Resource Situations

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ostrom, Elinor
Conference: Common Property Resource Management, Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID)
Location: National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council, Washington, DC
Conf. Date: September 4
Date: 1985
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8222
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): Workshop
collective action
common pool resources
institutional analysis
tragedy of the commons
Hardin, Garrett
Olson, Mancur
Abstract: "Considerable attention has been paid by the authors of the case studies to the problems of collective action in relation to common-pool resources. Accepted theories of collective action appear to conclude that individuals using a common-pool resource are locked into a struggle leading to the destruction of the very resource on which their livelihood depends. Several cases, however, have described situations where individuals using a common-pool resource have devised their own customs or rules to limit individual actions in ways that avoid the tragedy of the commons. Other cases illustrate what the accepted theories predict--resource systems that are over-used and whose capability to sustain a productive flow of resource units into the future is seriously endangered."

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