Reinventing the Commons

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Date
1995
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Abstract
"We are indebted to institutional economic historians in general and Douglass North in particular for pointing out the impact of institutional structures on economic growth, and especially for making us appreciate the importance of clear specification of property rights in economic growth and in efficient use of resources. When this idea is combined with the crude (but apparently true) historical simplification that many societies used to have common property institutions and that individual private propery has in many instances displaced common property, one might carelessly conclude that individual property is more efficient than common property. And that efficient resource use - important in an era of environmental pressure - requires that we dismantle common property and replace it with individual private property. This conclusion is, of course, at the heart of the campaign to privatize resource use around the world, and I believe that it represents a grotesque misunderstanding of North's insights."
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common pool resources--theory, institutional economics, IASC, property rights, North, Douglass, land tenure and use, ownership--theory
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