October 10, 2010

The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled After 100 Years

by Robert N. Stavins

- The problem of the commons is more important to our lives and thus more central to economics than a century ago when Katharine Coman led off the first issue of the American Economic Review. As the U.S. and other economies have grown, the carrying-capacity of the planet - in regard to natural resources and environmental quality - has become a greater concern, particularly for common-property and open-access resources. The focus of this article is on some important, unsettled problems of the commons.

Stavins, R.N. "The Problem of the Commons: Still Unsettled After 100 Years." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP10-042, Sept 2010.