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Encyclopedia > Tragedy of the commons

The Tragedy of the Commons is a type of social trap, often economic, that involves a conflict over resources between individual interests and the common good. Social trap is a term used by psychologists to describe a situation in which a group of people act to obtain short-term individual gains, which in the long run leads to a loss for the group as a whole. ... The common good is a term that can refer to several different concepts. ...


The "Tragedy of the Commons" is a structural relationship between free access to, and unrestricted individual demand for a finite communal resource. The term derives originally from a comparison noticed by William Forster Lloyd with medieval village land holding in his 1833 book on population.[1] It was then popularized and extended by Garrett Hardin in his 1968 Science essay "The Tragedy of the Commons".[2] However, the theory itself is as old as Thucydides and Aristotle, the latter of whom said "that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."[3] William Forster Lloyd was Drummond Professor at Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society. ... Garrett Hardin Garrett James Hardin (April 21, 1915 – September 14, 2003) was a controversial ecologist from Dallas, Texas who was most known for his 1968 paper, The Tragedy of the commons. ... Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ... Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Meaning

The metaphor illustrates how free access and unrestricted demand for a finite resource ultimately structurally dooms the resource through over-exploitation. This occurs because the benefits of exploitation accrue to individuals or groups, each of whom is motivated to maximize use of the resource to the point in which they become reliant on it, while the costs of the exploitation are distributed among all those to whom the resource is available (which may be a wider class of individuals than that which is exploiting it). This, in turn, causes demand for the resource to increase, which causes the problem to snowball to the point in which the resource is exhausted.


Thucydides expressed the concept thus: Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ...

[T]hey devote a very small fraction of time to the consideration of any public object, most of it to the prosecution of their own objects. Meanwhile each fancies that no harm will come to his neglect, that it is the business of somebody else to look after this or that for him; and so, by the same notion being entertained by all separately, the common cause imperceptibly decays.[4]

Later, Aristotle wrote on the problem: For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ...

That all persons call the same thing mine in the sense in which each does so may be a fine thing, but it is impracticable; or if the words are taken in the other sense, such a unity in no way conduces to harmony. And there is another objection to the proposal. For that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill; as in families many attendants are often less useful than a few. ...[3]

Like William Lloyd and Thomas Malthus before him, Hardin was primarily interested in population and especially the problem of human population growth. In his essay he also focused on the use of larger (though still limited) resources such as the atmosphere and oceans, as well as pointing out the "negative commons" of pollution (i.e., instead of dealing with the deliberate privatisation of a positive resource, a "negative commons" deals with the deliberate commonisation of a negative cost, pollution). Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS (13th February, 1766 – 29th December, 1834), was an English demographer and political economist. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... Air redirects here. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ...


As a metaphor, the Tragedy of the Commons should not be taken too literally. The phrase is shorthand for a structural relationship and the consequences of that relationship, not a precise description of it. The "tragedy" should not be seen as tragic in the conventional sense, nor must it be taken as condemnation of the processes that are ascribed to it. Similarly, Hardin's use of "commons" has frequently been misunderstood, leading Hardin to later remark that he should have titled his work "The Tragedy of the Unregulated Commons". This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ... Shorthand is an abbreviated, symbolic writing method that improves speed of writing or brevity as compared to a normal method of writing a language. ...


The Tragedy of the Commons has particular relevance in analyzing behaviour in the fields of economics, evolutionary psychology, game theory, politics, taxation, and sociology. Some also see it as an example of emergent behaviour, with the "tragedy" the outcome of individual interactions in a complex system. Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i. ... Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous... Emergence is the process of deriving some new and coherent structures, patterns and properties in a complex system. ... There are many definitions of complexity, therefore many natural, artificial and abstract objects or networks can be considered to be complex systems, and their study (complexity science) is highly interdisciplinary. ...


Garrett Hardin's essay

At the beginning of his essay, Hardin draws attention to problems that cannot be solved by technical means (i.e., as distinct from those with solutions that require "a change only in the techniques of the natural sciences, demanding little or nothing in the way of change in human values or ideas of morality"). Hardin contends that this class of problems includes many of those raised by human population growth and the use of the Earth's natural resources. The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ... Value redirects here. ... Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ...


To make the case for "no technical solutions", Hardin notes the limits placed on the availability of energy (and material resources) on Earth, and also the consequences of these limits for "quality of life". To maximize population, one needs to minimize resources spent on anything other than simple survival, and vice versa. Consequently, he concludes that there is no foreseeable technical solution to increasing both human populations and their standard of living on a finite planet. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about the economic and philosophical concept. ... This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. ... The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people and the way these services and goods are distributed within a population. ... This article is about the astronomical term. ...


From this point, Hardin switches to non-technical or resource management solutions to population and resource problems. As a means of illustrating these, he introduces a hypothetical example of a pasture shared by local herders. The herders are assumed to wish to maximize their yield, and so will increase their herd size whenever possible. The utility of each additional animal has both a positive and negative component: Pastureland Pasture is land with lush herbaceous vegetation cover used for grazing of ungulates as part of a farm or ranch. ... A herder is a worker who lives a semi-nomadic life, caring for various domestic animals, especially in places where these animals wander unfenced pasture lands. ...

  • Positive: the herder receives all of the proceeds from each additional animal.
  • Negative: the pasture is slightly degraded by each additional animal.

Crucially, the division of these costs and benefits are unequal: the individual herder gains all of the advantage, but the disadvantage is shared among all herders using the pasture. Consequently, for an individual herder weighing these, the rational course of action is to add an extra animal. And another, and another. However, since all herders reach the same rational conclusion, overgrazing and degradation of the pasture is its long-term fate. Nonetheless, the rational response for an individual remains the same at every stage, since the gain is always greater to each herder than the individual share of the distributed cost. The overgrazing cost here is an example of an externality. Rationality as a term is related to the idea of reason, a word which following Websters may be derived as much from older terms referring to thinking itself as from giving an account or an explanation. ... // In the dictionary and agriculture, overgrazing is when plants are exposed to grazing for too long, or without sufficient recovery periods. ... In economics, an externality is an impact (positive or negative) on anyone not party to a given economic transaction. ...


Because this sequence of events follows predictably from the behaviour of the individuals concerned, Hardin describes it as a tragedy: "the remorseless working of things" (in the sense described by the philosopher Alfred Whitehead). As such, it illustrates how an "invisible hand" (laissez-faire) approach to resource problems will not always provide the expected optimal solution. In Hardin's hypothetical commons, the actions of self-interested individuals do not promote the public good, and Adam Smith's invisible hand does not ratchet toward higher utility. Alfred North Whitehead, OM (February 15, 1861, Ramsgate, Kent, England – December 30, 1947, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.) was an English-born mathematician who became a philosopher. ... For other uses, see Invisible hand (disambiguation). ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... For other persons named Adam Smith, see Adam Smith (disambiguation). ...


In the course of his essay, Hardin develops the theme, drawing in examples of latter day "commons", such as the atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, National Parks, advertising, and even parking meters. The example of fish stocks had led some to call this the "tragedy of the fishers".[5] A major theme running throughout the essay is the growth of human populations, with the Earth's resources being a general commons (given that it concerns the addition of extra "animals", it is the closest to his original analogy). Fish stocks are subpopulations of a particular species of fish, for which intrinsic parameters (growth, recruitment, mortality and fishing mortality) are the only significant factors in determining population dynamics, while extrinsic factors (immigration and emmigration) are considered to be insignificant. ... This article is about national parks. ... Advert redirects here. ... A traditional style parking meter A parking meter is a device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ...


The essay also addresses potential management solutions to commons problems including: privatization; polluter pays; regulation. Keeping with his original pasture analogy, Hardin categorises these as effectively the "enclosure" of commons, and notes a historical progression from the use of all resources as commons (unregulated access to all) to systems in which commons are "enclosed" and subject to differing methods of regulated use (access prohibited or controlled). Hardin argues against the reliance on conscience as a means of policing commons, suggesting that this favours selfish individuals over those more far-sighted. For other uses, see Management (disambiguation). ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Polluter Pays is a principle in government whereby industries causing pollution or contamination are obliged to pay for their damage to the environment either through directly funding clean-up work or through taxation. ... For other uses, see Enclosure (disambiguation). ... François Chifflart (1825-1901), The Conscience (after Victor Hugo) Conscience is an ability or faculty or sense that leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, or which informs our moral judgment before performing such an action. ... Selfishness denotes the precedence given in thought or deed to self interests and self concerns, the act of placing ones own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. ...


In the context of avoiding over-exploitation of common resources, Hardin concludes by restating Hegel's maxim (which was actually written by Engels), "Freedom is the recognition of necessity." He suggests that "freedom", if interpreted narrowly as simply the freedom to do as one pleases, completes the tragedy of the commons. By recognising resources as commons in the first place, and by recognising that, as such, they require management, Hardin believes that "we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms". Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and, with Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, one of the representatives of German idealism. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Engels redirects here. ... For other uses, see Freedom. ...


Aside from its subject matter (resource use), the essay is notable (at least in modern scientific circles) for explicitly dealing with issues of morality, and doing so in one of the scientific community's premier journals, Science. Indeed, the subtitle for the essay is "The population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality." Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ... In books and other works, a subtitle is an explanatory or alternate title. ...


Controversy

Even today Hardin's essay "The Tragedy of the Commons" is a source of controversy. Some of this stems from disagreement about whether individuals will always behave in the selfish fashion posited by Hardin (see discussion below). The Tragedy of the Commons is a type of social trap, often economic, that involves a conflict over resources between individual interests and the common good. ...


More significantly, controversy has been fueled by the "application" of Hardin's ideas to real situations. In particular, some authorities have read Hardin's work as specifically advocating the privatisation of commonly owned resources. Consequently, resources that have traditionally been managed communally by local organisations have been enclosed or privatised. Ostensibly this serves to "protect" such resources, but it ignores the pre-existing management, often appropriating resources and alienating indigenous (and frequently poor) populations. In effect, private or state use repeatedly resulted in worse outcomes than compared to the previous commons management.[6] As Hardin's essay focuses on resources that are fundamentally unmanaged, rather than communally managed, this application of his ideas is misplaced. Ironically, given his original hypothetical example, this misunderstanding of Hardin's ideas is often applied to grazing lands. For other uses, see Enclosure (disambiguation). ... Privatization (sometimes privatisation, denationalization, or — especially in India — disinvestment) is the process of transferring property, from public ownership to private ownership. ...


More generally, Hardin made it very clear that usage of public property could be controlled in a number of different ways to stop or limit over-usage. As has been pointed out by Natalie Wanis, Hardin's advocacy of clearly defined property rights has frequently been misread as an argument for privatization, or private property, per se. The opposite situation to a tragedy of the commons is sometimes referred to as a tragedy of the anticommons: a situation where rational individuals (acting separately) collectively waste a given resource by under-utilizing it. The tragedy of the anticommons is a situation where rational individuals (acting separately) collectively waste a given resource by under-utilizing it. ...


Historical commons

Hardin's essay introduces a hypothetical pasture as an analogy for "commons" in general. In this analogy, herders using the pasture do so on an individualistic basis, with no community management or oversight. However, actual historical commons were not public land and most were not open to the access of all — the public at large had very limited rights (e.g., passing drovers could lease grazing for "thistle rent"). Only those locals who were "commoners" had access to a bundle of rights; each commoner then had an interest in his own rights, but the common itself was not property. Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. ... In England and Wales, a common is a piece of land over which other people -- often neighbouring landowners -- could exercise one of a number of traditional rights, such as allowing their cattle to graze upon it. ... A commoner, in British law, is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a noble. ...


These bundles of rights could not be traded or otherwise disposed of, but they applied in a medieval culture that recognized inalienable property (e.g., entailed inheritances), so under this system the bundles of rights were considered property. In a traditional English village these rights provided commoners with rights of grazing, gathering fuel wood non-destructively "by hook or by crook", etc. from anywhere on the common. (The form "commons" is plural, and refers to the whole group of individual pieces of common land subject to these effects). The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...


Historically, most English commons were reserved for their own commoners (meaning members of that parish), whose use was restricted in various ways according to local custom. In response to overgrazing, for example, a common would be "stinted", that is, a limit would be put on the number of animals each commoner was allowed to graze. This stint might be related to the ownership of a commonable cottage, or to the amount of land owned in the open fields. These regulations were responsive to demographic and economic pressure; rather than let the commons be degraded, access was usually restricted even further. By the time of parliamentary enclosure, in many manors in southern England few labourers and poorer people held common grazing rights; enclosure, however, did have an impact on smaller landholders who supported their farming through use of common grazing and other resources. While historians continue to debate the significance and impact of enclosure on small landholders and labouring people in England, they agree that there is no evidence that commonland use was itself unsustainable.[citation needed] A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... For other uses, see Open-field (disambiguation) The open field system was the prevalent agricultural system in Europe from the Middle Ages to as recently as the 20th century in places. ...


Modern solutions

Articulating solutions to the Tragedy of the Commons is one of the main problems of political philosophy. The most common solution is regulation by an authority. Frequently, such regulation is in the form of governmental regulations limiting the amount of a common good available for use by any individual. Permit systems for extractive economic activities including mining, fishing, hunting, livestock raising and timber extraction are examples of this approach. Similarly, limits to pollution are examples of governmental intervention on behalf of the commons. Alternatively, resource users themselves can cooperate to conserve the resource in the name of mutual benefit. The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what...


Another solution for certain resources is to convert common good into private property, giving the new owner an incentive to enforce its sustainability. Effectively, this is what took place in the English "Enclosure of the Commons". Increasingly, many agrarian studies scholars advocate studying traditional commons management systems, to understand how common resources can be protected without alienating those whose livelihoods depend upon them. Inclosure (also commonly enclosure), refers to the process of subdivision of common lands for individual ownership. ...


Libertarians and classical liberals often cite the Tragedy of the Commons as a classic example of what happens when Lockean property rights to homestead resources are prohibited by a government.[7][8][9] These libertarians and classical liberals argue that the solution to the Tragedy of the Commons is to allow individuals to take over the property rights of a resource, that is, privatizing it.[10] In 1940 Ludwig von Mises wrote concerning the problem, This article is about the political philosophy based on private property rights. ... Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism[1] and laissez-faire liberalism[2]) is a doctrine stressing the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of Adam... For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... This article is about the political philosophy based on private property rights. ... Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism[1] and laissez-faire liberalism[2]) is a doctrine stressing the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of Adam... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) (pronounced was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ...

If land is not owned by anybody, although legal formalism may call it public property, it is used without any regard to the disadvantages resulting. Those who are in a position to appropriate to themselves the returns -— lumber and game of the forests, fish of the water areas, and mineral deposits of the subsoil -- do not bother about the later effects of their mode of exploitation. For them, erosion of the soil, depletion of the exhaustible resources and other impairments of the future utilization are external costs not entering into their calculation of input and output. They cut down trees without any regard for fresh shoots or reforestation. In hunting and fishing, they do not shrink from methods preventing the repopulation of the hunting and fishing grounds.[11]

Critics of this solution have pointed out that many commons, such as the ozone layer or global fish populations, would be extremely difficult or impossible to privatize and so that solution is not a general one.


Psychologist Dennis Fox used a number, what is now termed "Dunbar's number", to take a new look at the Tragedy of the Commons. In a 1985 paper titled "Psychology, Ideology, Utopia, & the Commons," he stated "Edney (1980, 1981a) also argued that long-term solutions will require, among a number of other approaches, breaking down the commons into smaller segments. He reviewed experimental data showing that cooperative behavior is indeed more common in smaller groups. After estimating that "the upper limit for a simple, self-contained, sustaining, well-functioning commons may be as low as 150 people" (1981a, p. 27). Dunbars number, which is 150, represents a theoretical maximum number of individuals with whom a set of people can maintain a social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person. ...


The Coast Salish managed their natural resources in a place-based system where families were responsible for looking after a place and its resources.[12] Access to food was the major source of wealth and the empowerment of generosity was highly valued so it made sense for them to take care of the resources. The Coast Salish are a group of Salishan-speaking First Nations/Native American in British Columbia and Washington. ...


A popular solution to the problem is also the "Coasian" one, where the people using the commons support one another so not to destroy the resource. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


In Hardin's essay, he proposed that the solution to the problem of overpopulation must be based on "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" and result in "relinquishing the freedom to breed". Hardin discussed this topic further in a 1979 book, Managing the Commons, co-written with John A. Baden [2]. He framed this prescription in terms of needing to restrict the "reproductive right" in order to safeguard all other rights. Only one large country has adopted this policy, the People's Republic of China. In the essay, Hardin had rejected education as an effective means of stemming population growth. Since that time, it has been shown that increased educational and economic opportunities for women correlates well with reduced birthrates in most countries, as does economic growth in general. John A. Baden is founder and chairman of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE) based in Bozeman, Montana. ... For the direction right, see left and right or starboard. ...


Application to evolutionary biology

The Tragedy of the Commons features highly in the field of evolutionary biology.[13] The idea comes from the theory that individuals will always behave selfishly in order to maximise their fitness. Mostly, it has been applied to theories of social evolution, where it was widely held that altruism could not have evolved because the tragedy of the commons would always favour selfish individuals; whose genes for selfish behaviour would therefore come to predominate. This contradicted observed reality, and was therefore a significant conceptual problem. The problem was eventually solved by models of possible mechanisms that can give rise to 'Reciprocal altruism', leading to ideas like the 'Tit for tat' rule (reciprocation). These models freed evolutionary theory from the limitations imposed by the concept of 'Inclusive fitness', a previous explanation for altruism, which proposed that organisms help others only to the extent that by doing so they increase the probability of passing shared genes to the next generation. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The gene-centered view of evolution, gene selection theory or selfish gene theory holds that natural selection acts through differential survival of competing genes, increasing the frequency of those alleles whose phenotypic effects successfully promote their own propagation. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... Social evolution is a subdiscipline of evolutionary biology that is concerned with social behaviours, i. ... For the ethical doctrine, see Altruism (ethics). ... This stylistic schematic diagram shows a gene in relation to the double helix structure of DNA and to a chromosome (right). ... In evolutionary biology, reciprocal altruism is a form of altruism in which one organism provides a benefit to another in the expectation of future reciprocation. ... Tit for Tat is a highly-effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoners dilemma. ... Inclusive fitness encompasses conventional Darwinian fitness with the addition of behaviors that contribute to an organism’s individual fitness through altruism. ...


It has also been applied to other areas of sociobiology and behavioral ecology, such as in the evolution of virulence or sexual conflict, where males may fatally harm females when competing for matings.[14] It is also widely used in studies of social insects, where scientists wish to understand why insect workers do not undermine the "common good" by laying eggs of their own and causing a breakdown of the society. This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling an animal to adapt to its environment (both intrinsic and extrinsic). ... Virulence refers to the degree of pathogenicity of a microbe, or in other words the relative ability of a microbe to cause disease. ... Sexual conflict is a form of evolutionary conflict where males and females share different interests. ...


The idea of evolutionary suicide, where adaptation at the level of the individual causes the whole species or population to be driven extinct, can be seen as an extreme form of an evolutionary tragedy of the commons. Evolutionary suicide is an evolutionary mechanism where adaptation at the level of the individual results in a situation where the entire population goes extinct. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ...


Modern commons

Situations exemplifying the "tragedy of the commons" include the overfishing and destruction of the Grand Banks, the destruction of salmon runs on rivers which have been dammed, and, in terms of water supply, the limited water available in arid regions (e.g., the area of the Aral Sea) and the Los Angeles water system supply, especially at Mono Lake and Owens Lake. Map showing the Grand Banks Historic map of the Grand Banks. ... For other uses, see Salmon (disambiguation). ... The Aral Sea (Kazakh: Арал Теңізі, Aral Tengizi, Uzbek: , Russian: Аральскοе мοре) is a landlocked endorheic sea in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Mono Lake is an alkaline and hypersaline lake in California, United States that is a critical nesting habitat for several bird species and is one of the most productive ecosystems in North America[citation needed]. // Satellite photo of Mono Lake Mono Craters to the right of the image are rhyolitic...


More general examples (some alluded to by Hardin) of potential and actual tragedies include:

This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Theoretical Human population increase from 10,000 BC – 2000 AD. Population growth is the change in population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals in a population per unit time. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Air pollution is the modification of the natural characteristics of the atmosphere by a chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities. ... Deforestation of the Madagascar Highland Plateau has led to extensive siltation and unstable flows of western rivers. ... Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For the American hard rock band, see SOiL. For the System of a Down song, see Soil (song). ... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil pollution comprises the pollution of soils with materials, mostly chemicals, that are out of place or are present at concentrations higher than normal which may have adverse effects on humans or other organisms. ... This article is about forests as a massing of trees. ... Logging is the process in which trees are cut down usually as part of a timber harvest which is good for the environment. ... Old growth forest, also called primary forest, ancient forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, frontier forest or (in the UK) Ancient Woodland, is an area of forest that has attained great age and so exhibits unique biological features. ... This article is about the agricultural practice of slash and burn. ... Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... This article is about life in general. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of taxonomic life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... The word Animals when used alone has several possible meanings in the English language. ... Look up habitat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Poaching (disambiguation). ... The Dodo, a bird of Mauritius, became extinct during the mid-late 17th century after humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes and introduced animals that ate their eggs. ... Ocean (Okeanos, a Greek god of sea and water; Greek ωκεανός) covers almost three quarters (71%) of the surface of the Earth. ... The Traffic Light colour convention, showing the concept of Harvest Control Rule (HCR), specifying when a rebuilding plan is mandatory in terms of precautionary and limit reference points for spawning biomass and fishing mortality rate. ... The International Tidy Man For other meanings of litter, see Litter (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... // In the dictionary and agriculture, overgrazing is when plants are exposed to grazing for too long, or without sufficient recovery periods. ... A local authority tower block in Cwmbrân, South Wales Public housing or project homes are forms of housing tenure in which the property is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. ... Declining-balance depreciation of a $50,000 asset with $6,500 salvage value over 20 years. ... This page is related to transport; you may be looking for the 2002 Bollywood movie Road. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... This article is about audible acoustic waves. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Noise pollution (or environmental noise in technical venues) is displeasing human or machine created sound that disrupts the environment. ... This article is about the time of day. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ... This cosmetics store has lighting levels over twice recommended levels and sufficient to trigger headaches and other health effects Over-illumination is the presence of lighting intensity (illuminance) beyond that required for a specified activity. ... Advert redirects here. ... Telemarketing office Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson uses the telephone to solicit prospective customers to buy products or services. ... Radio frequency, or RF, refers to that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in which electromagnetic waves can be generated by alternating current fed to an antenna. ... IEEE 802. ... In the U.S., Part 15 is an often-quoted section of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations, mainly regarding unlicensed transmissions. ... In communications and information processing, a transmitter (sometimes abbreviated XMTR) is an object (source) which sends information to an observer (receiver). ... An omnidirectional antenna is an antenna system which radiates power uniformly in all directions. ... In biology, antenna (plural: antennae) refers to the sensing organs of several arthropods. ... This article is about electronic spam. ... Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. ... FINANCIAL is the weekly English-language newspaper with offices in Tbilisi, Georgia and Kiev, Ukraine. ... Look up credit card in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

See also


The terms common-pool resource (CPR), alternatively termed a common property resource, is a particular type of good, and a natural or human-made resource system, whose size or characteristics of which makes it costly, but not impossible, to exclude potential beneficiaries from obtaining benefits from its use. ... Demographic transition occurs in societies that transition from high birth rates and high death rates to low birth rates and low death rates as part of the economic development of a country from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economy. ... Elinor Ostrom is the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington She has authored many books in the fields of organizational theory, political science, and public administration. ... For other uses, see Enclosure (disambiguation). ... Free market environmentalism is a theory that argues the free market is the best tool to preserve the health and sustainability of the environment. ... In economics and political science, free riders are actors who consume more than their fair share of a resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production. ... Garrett Hardin Garrett James Hardin (April 21, 1915 – September 14, 2003) was a controversial ecologist from Dallas, Texas who was most known for his 1968 paper, The Tragedy of the commons. ... Green syndicalism has been used as a name for the philosophy of the green guild or sustainable trades movement. ... The polder model is the Dutch version of corporatism. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political economy was the original term for the study of production, the acts of buying and selling, and their relationships to laws, customs and government. ... A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by government or by individuals[1]. All economic goods have a property rights attribute. ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... The ratchet effect the commonly observed phenomenon that some processes cannot go backwards once certain things have happened, by analogy with the mechanical ratchet that holds the spring tight as a clock is wound up. ... Thomas Robert Malthus, FRS (13th February, 1766 – 29th December, 1834), was an English demographer and political economist. ... Malthusian catastrophe, sometimes known as a Malthusian check, Malthusian crisis, Malthusian dilemma, Malthusian disaster, Malthusian trap, or Malthusian limit is a return to subsistence-level conditions as a result of agricultural (or, in later formulations, economic) production being eventually outstripped by growth in population. ... The tragedy of the anticommons is a situation where rational individuals (acting separately) collectively waste a given resource by under-utilizing it. ...

 view  Topics in game theory

Definitions Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ...

Normal form game · Extensive form game · Cooperative game · Information set · Preference In game theory, normal form is a way of describing a game. ... It has been suggested that Game tree be merged into this article or section. ... A cooperative game is a game where groups of players (coalitions) may enforce cooperative behaviour, hence the game is a competition between coalitions of players, rather than between individual players. ... In game theory, an information set is a set that, for a particular player, establishes all the possible moves that could have taken place in the game so far, given what that player has observed so far. ... Preference (or taste) is a concept, used in the social sciences, particularly economics. ...

Equilibrium concepts Price of market balance In economics, economic equilibrium is simply a state of the world where economic forces are balanced and in the abscence of external shocks the (equilibrium) values of economic variables will not change. ... In game theory and economic modelling, a solution concept is a process via which equilibria of a game are identified. ...

Nash equilibrium · Subgame perfection · Bayesian-Nash · Perfect Bayesian · Trembling hand · Proper equilibrium · Epsilon-equilibrium · Correlated equilibrium · Sequential equilibrium · Quasi-perfect equilibrium · Evolutionarily stable strategy · Risk dominance In game theory, the Nash equilibrium (named after John Forbes Nash, who proposed it) is a kind of solution concept of a game involving two or more players, where no player has anything to gain by changing only his or her own strategy unilaterally. ... Subgame perfect equilibrium is an economics term used in game theory to describe an equilibrium such that players strategies constitute a Nash equilibrium in every subgame of the original game. ... In game theory, a Bayesian game is one in which information about characteristics of the other players (i. ... In game theory, a Bayesian game is one in which information about characteristics of the other players (i. ... The trembling hand perfection is a notion that eliminates actions of players that are unsafe because they were chosen through a slip of the hand. ... Proper equilibrium is a refinement of Nash Equilibrium due to Roger B. Myerson. ... In game theory, an Epsilon-equilibrium is a strategy profile that approximately satisfies the condition of Nash Equilibrium. ... In game theory, a correlated equilibrium is a solution concept that is more general than the well known Nash equilibrium. ... Sequential equilibrium is a refinement of Nash Equilibrium for extensive form games due to David M. Kreps and Robert Wilson. ... Quasi-perfect equilibrium is a refinement of Nash Equilibrium for extensive form games due to Eric van Damme. ... In game theory, an evolutionarily stable strategy (or ESS; also evolutionary stable strategy) is a strategy which if adopted by a population cannot be invaded by any competing alternative strategy. ... Risk dominance and payoff dominance are two related refinements of the Nash equilibrium (NE) solution concept in game theory, defined by John Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten. ...

Strategies In game theory, a players strategy, in a game or a business situation, is a complete plan of action for whatever situation might arise; this fully determines the players behaviour. ...

Dominant strategies · Mixed strategy · Tit for tat · Grim trigger · Collusion In game theory, dominance occurs when one strategy is better or worse than another regardless of the strategies of a players opponents. ... In game theory a mixed strategy is a strategy which chooses randomly between possible moves. ... Tit for Tat is a highly-effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoners dilemma. ... Grim Trigger is a trigger strategy in game theory for a repeated game, such as an iterated prisoners dilemma. ... Look up collusion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Classes of games

Symmetric game · Perfect information · Dynamic game · Repeated game · Signaling game · Cheap talk · Zero-sum game · Mechanism design · Stochastic game · Nontransitive game In game theory, a symmetric game is a game where the payoffs for playing a particular strategy depend only on the other strategies employed, not on who is playing them. ... Perfect information is a term used in economics and game theory to describe a state of complete knowledge about the actions of other players that is instantaneously updated as new information arises. ... In game theory, a sequential game is a game where one player chooses his action before the others chooses theirs. ... In game theory, a repeated game (or iterated game) is an extensive form game which consists in some number of repetitions of some base game (called a stage game). ... Signaling games are dynamic games with two players, the sender (S) and the receiver (R). ... Cheap Talk is a term used in Game Theory for pre-play communication which carries no cost. ... Zero-sum describes a situation in which a participants gain (or loss) is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the other participant(s). ... Mechanism design is a sub-field of game theory. ... In game theory, a stochastic game is a competitive game with probabilistic transitions played by two players. ... A non-transitive game is a game for which the various strategies produce one or more loops of preferences. ...

Games Game theory studies strategic interaction between individuals in situations called games. ...

Prisoner's dilemma · Traveler's dilemma · Coordination game · Chicken · Volunteer's dilemma · Dollar auction · Battle of the sexes · Stag hunt · Matching pennies · Ultimatum game · Minority game · Rock, Paper, Scissors · Pirate game · Dictator game · Public goods game · Nash bargaining game · Blotto games  · War of attrition Will the two prisoners cooperate to minimize total loss of liberty or will one of them, trusting the other to cooperate, betray him so as to go free? In game theory, the prisoners dilemma (sometimes abbreviated PD) is a type of non-zero-sum game in which two players... In game theory, the travelers dilemma (sometimes abbreviated TD) is a type of non-zero-sum game in which two players attempt to maximise their own payoff, without any concern for the other players payoff. ... In game theory, the Nash equilibrium (named after John Nash) is a kind of optimal strategy for games involving two or more players, whereby the players reach an outcome to mutual advantage. ... For other uses, see Chicken (disambiguation). ... The Volunteers dilemma game models a situation in which each of N players faces the decision of either making a small sacrifice from which all will benefit or freeriding. ... On eBay, where an auction has a starting price of $1 ... The Battle of the Sexes is a two player game used in game theory. ... In game theory, the Stag Hunt is a game first discussed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. ... Matching Pennies is the name for a simple example game used in game theory. ... The Ultimatum game is an experimental economics game in which two parties interact anonymously and only once, so reciprocation is not an issue. ... Minority Game is a game proposed by Yi-Cheng Zhang and Damien Challet from the University of Fribourg. ... Rock, Paper, Scissors chart Listen to this article ( info/dl) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-07-13, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... From Howard Pyles Book of Pirates The pirate game is a simple mathematical game. ... The dictator game is a very simple game in experimental economics, similar to the ultimatum game. ... The Public goods game is a standard of experimental economics; in the basic game subjects secretly choose how many of their private tokens to put into the public pot. ... The Nash Bargaining Game is a simple two player game used to model bargaining interactions. ... Blotto games (or Colonel Blotto games) constitute a class of two-person zero-sum games in which the players are tasked to simultaneously distribute limited resources over several objects, with the gain (or payoff) being equal to the sum of the gains on the individual objects. ... In game theory the War of attrition is a model of aggression in which two contestants compete for a resource of value V by persisting while accumulating costs at a constant rate c. ...

Theorems

Minimax theorem · Purification theorems · Folk theorem · Revelation principle · Arrow's theorem “Minmax” redirects here. ... In game theory, the purification theorem was contributed by Nobel laurate John Harsanyi in 1973[1]. The theorem aims to justify a puzzling aspect of mixed strategy Nash equilibria: that each player is wholly indifferent amongst each of the actions he puts non-zero weight on, yet he mixes them... In game theory, folk theorems are a class of theorems which imply that in repeated games, any outcome is a feasible solution concept, if under that outcome the players minimax conditions are satisfied. ... The revelation principle of economics can be stated as, To any equilibrium of a game of incomplete information, there corresponds an associated revelation mechanism that has an equilibrium where the players truthfully report their types. ... In voting systems, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, or Arrow’s paradox demonstrates the impossibility of designing a set of rules for social decision making that would meet all of a certain set of criteria. ...

Notes

  1. ^ William Forster Lloyd, Two Lectures on the Checks to Population (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1833).
  2. ^ Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons," Science, Vol. 162, No. 3859 (December 13, 1968), pp. 1243-1248. Also available here and here.
  3. ^ a b Aristotle (384 B.C.-322 B.C.), Politics, Book II, Chapter III, 1261b; translated by Benjamin Jowett as The Politics of Aristotle: Translated into English with Introduction, Marginal Analysis, Essays, Notes and Indices (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885), Vol. 1 of 2. See also here. Also available here, here and here.
  4. ^ Thucydides (ca. 460 B.C.-ca. 395 B.C.), History of the Peloponnesian War, Book I, Sec. 141; translated by Richard Crawley (London: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1910).
  5. ^ Samuel Bowles: Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution, Princeton University Press, pp. 27–29 (2004) ISBN 0691091633
  6. ^ Ostrom, Elinor, Joanna Burger, Christopher B. Field, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Policansky (1999): Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges, in: Science, Vol. 284, 9 April, pp. 278-282.
  7. ^ Robert J. Smith, "Resolving the Tragedy of the Commons by Creating Private Property Rights in Wildlife," Cato Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 1981), pp. 439-468.
  8. ^ Murray N. Rothbard, "Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution," Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 1982), pp. 55-100. Also available here and here.
  9. ^ "Free-Market Environmentalism Reading List," The Commons Blog.
  10. ^ John Locke, "Sect. 27" and following sections in Second Treatise of Government (1690). Also available here.
  11. ^ Ludwig von Mises, Part IV, Chapter 10, Sec. VI, Nationalökonomie: Theorie des Handelns und Wirtschaftens (Geneva: Editions Union, 1940). The quote provided is that of Mises's expanded English translation, Chapter XXIII: "The Data of the Market," Sec. 6: "The Limits of Property Rights and the Problems of External Costs and External Economies," Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949). Also available here.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ The tragedy of the commons, the public goods dilemma, and the meaning of rivalry and excludability in evolutionary biology Francisco Dionisio and Isabel Gordo Evolutionary Ecology Research 2006
  14. ^ Sex, death and tragedy Daniel J. Rankin and Hanna Kokko Laboratory of Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics May 2006
  15. ^ I.A. Shiklomanov, Appraisal and Assessment of World Water Resources, Water International 25(1): 11-32 (2000)
  16. ^ * Wilson, E.O., 2002, The Future of Life, Vintage ISBN 0-679-76811-4
  17. ^ Leakey, Richard and Roger Lewin, 1996, The Sixth Extinction : Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind, Anchor, ISBN 0-385-46809-1
  18. ^ ch 11-12. Mark Kurlansky, 1997. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, New York: Walker, ISBN 0-8027-1326-2.

William Forster Lloyd was Drummond Professor at Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society. ... Benjamin Jowett (April 15, 1817 – October 1, 1893) was an English scholar and theologian, Master of Balliol College, Oxford. ... Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an influential American economist, historian and natural law theorist belonging to the Austrian School of Economics who helped define modern libertarianism. ... For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) (pronounced was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) (pronounced was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ...

External links and references


  Results from FactBites:
 
tragedy of the commons: Information from Answers.com (2994 words)
The tragedy of the commons is a phrase used to refer to a class of phenomena that involve a conflict for resources between individual interests and the common good.
The opposite situation to a tragedy of the commons is sometimes referred to as a tragedy of the anticommons.
The "Tragedy of the commons" is a metaphor which should not be taken too literally as defining the concept.
Tragedy of the Commons Described (1823 words)
Ecologist Garrett Hardin's "tragedy of the commons" (Hardin, 1968) has proven a useful concept for understanding how we have come to be at the brink of numerous environmental catastrophes.
Despite its reception as revolutionary, Hardin’s tragedy was not a new concept: its intellectual roots trace back to Aristotle who noted that "what is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it" (see Ostrom 1990) as well as to Hobbes and his leviathan (see Feeny et al., 1990).
For while the tragedy of the commons is not an inevitable outcome, it is a conceivable risk whenever resources are being consumed.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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