Property Regimes Commons Management

• Economists generally argue that a resource not exploited under a private property regime is destined for overuse, but numerous commons management regimes, some centuries old, prove otherwise. On Bali, rice farmers coordinate their use of scarce water cooperatively through social networks, resulting in a near-ideal allocation in terms of farm productivity.

• Commons management ideas are rebounding and finding new applications. Wikipedia, which is based on a collectively managed social network, now has almost 8 million articles in English and 250 other languages.

• Collectively managed community gardens are increasingly popular, with an estimated 18,000 gardens in the United States alone. Likewise, the number of farmers markets grew 150 percent between 1994 and 2006, and today there are well over 4,000 in the United States.

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