ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hidden Failure of 'Successful Institutions': Community Management of CPRs

Contrary to the neoclassical assumption that the freeriding behaviour of selfish utility-maximising individuals leads to under-provisioning of common pool resources, Elinor Ostrom empirically demonstrated that communities themselves devise institutions in order to organise collective action to "successfully" manage the cprs in a sustainable, efficient and equitable manner. This paper argues that there is a "hidden failure" even in those cases where community management is claimed to be "successful" within Ostrom's framework.

This paper was written when the author was a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Michael Hanemann and David Zetland provided useful comments on an earlier version of this paper. However, the usual disclaimer applies.

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