Distributing the Benefits from the Commons

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Date
1993
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Abstract
"The common-property literature has often focused on the question of efficiency. Here we consider distributional issues instead. How should the benefits of the commons (say, a fishery) be distributed? We approach the question from the viewpoint of ownership rather than income redistribution. "A first set of issues is the welfare comparison of an initial, inefficient status quo, called the open access solution, and various final, efficient allocations reached by regulation or privatization. We generalize Weitzman's result that fishers become worse off by privatization and we extend the analysis to the welfare of consumers. "Next we ask: What implications does the public ownership of the resource have for the distribution of its benefits? We analyze alternative approaches and propose a distribution rule based on the notion that both fishers and consumers should obtain the same rate of return from their (direct or indirect) contributors towards the fruits of the commons."
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common pool resources, fisheries--theory, tragedy of the commons, IASC
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