The technologies of property rights: Choice among alternative solutions to tragedies of the commons Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors propose a framework for analyzing the broad class of problems that fall within the "tragedy of the commons," the dominant metaphor for understanding environmental problems. The Article applies industrial organization theory to the issue of how to solve tragedies of the commons, developing a conceptual analysis built around the various forms of property rights (common, public, private, regulatory) used. It then examines how technology affects the appropriateness of different solutions. Finally, the Article expands the notion of technology to include the legal institutions that implement the various forms of property, uncovering an important set of incentive effects.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yandle, B., & Morriss, A. P.

publication date

  • December 2001