Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Paper on Property Systems in Natural Resources

Elinor Ostrom and I have just posted on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) a new working paper on "The Variety of Property Systems and Rights in Natural Resources: An Introduction." You can download the full paper here. Here is the abstract:
Property theory has not kept pace with the growth of empirical and historical information on property systems. This paper, prepared for a Lincoln Institute conference on "The Evolution of Property Systems and Rights Related to Land and Natural Resources": (a) introduces conventional theories of property rights in natural resources (based largely on Hardin 1968 and Demsetz 1967); (b) addresses issues in the construction and meaning of property rights and systems; (c) describes the findings of social scientists from decades of field and experimental research about the structure and performance of existing property systems; and (d) calls on property scholars to move beyond "naive" and simplistic theories of property rights in light of the wealth of empirical evidence demonstrating the variety of successful property regimes in use.
Lin and I will be revising the paper prior to final publication, and so we encourage your comments and suggestions on this working-paper version.

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