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he Tragedy of the Commons

he Tragedy of the Commons - he Tragedy of the Commons[Note...

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he Tragedy of the Commons [Note: much of this is redundant to the assigned reading by Feeny et al. 1990, so you can skim this if you've already read and understood that source] A widely influential essay by ecologist Garrett Hardin (1968) argued that systems of unrestricted access lead inexorably to a "tragedy of the commons" Hardin was referring to the communal grazing "commons" found in England before the industrial revolution and the Enclosure Act that privatized this land, but it would seem that his notion would apply equally well to E. African cattle herders, as well as foraging, pastoral, and agricultural systems anywhere that hold land or the resources on it in common He argued that the commons failed to provide any incentive to conserve resources: each herdsman competes to raise as many animals as possible, and in deciding whether to add another animal on the pasture considers that the benefit will accrue to him while the cost will be shared by all members of the community Hence the rational choice for each herdsman is to put additional animals on the
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