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06_ostrom_governing - GOVERNING THE COMMONS: The Evolution...

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GOVERNING THE COMMONS: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action Elinor Ostrom Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Pp. 280. In 1985, the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a conference in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss common property resource management. This conference was a watershed in the development of the theoretical underpinning of institutional design for successful common pool resource (CPR) management. Since then, an international network of over 2,000 researchers has developed, and the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP), formed in 1989, has held two successful international conferences. Dominating the intellectual evolution of the field has been the work of Elinor Ostrom, co-director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. Her book, Governing the Commons, presents a lucid exposition of the current state of institutional analysis of common property problems. Part of the Cam- bridge series on Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions, the book addresses how common pool resources may be managed successfully without falling prey to the "tragedy of the commons." Common pool resources are characterized by subtractability (i.e., with- drawal by one user reduces the amount of the resource left for other users) and joint use by a group of appropriators. Thus, a common village grazing field has forage for a limited number of beasts, and all the villagers are entitled to pasture their animals on the field. Community rules of access and management are required to sustain the field from season to season. Problems in managing CPRs arise when the rational individual determines
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2011 for the course ECON 6120 taught by Professor Crabbe during the Winter '11 term at University of Ottawa.

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06_ostrom_governing - GOVERNING THE COMMONS: The Evolution...

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