Tragedy of the commons

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Tragedy of the commons

  1. 1. Tragedy of the Commons Ms Ross March 2008
  2. 2. Economic Mystery <ul><li>Under present regulations, relatively few whales are killed by whalers each year. But millions of chickens are killed and eaten every day. Yet there are too few whales, while chickens are abundant. </li></ul><ul><li>Why are there so few whales and so many chickens? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Tragedy of the Commons <ul><li>When property is held in common rather than owned by individuals, it tends to be overused and degraded. </li></ul><ul><li>Each person who uses it gains the full benefit of use. However, he or she does not bear the full costs of this use. These costs are shared by all the other users– the common owners. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Tragedy of the Commons <ul><li>No one has a strong incentive to conserve, care or invest in resources owned in common. </li></ul><ul><li>This is because a person who tries to conserve, care or invest in the resource cannot prevent others from using it. </li></ul>

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