Monday, August 27, 2012

Frances Woolley — Elinor Ostrom, you were turtley right

Elinor Ostrom described how to design institutions to manage common pool resources. They have to be able to establish boundaries (the fence), monitor the use of the resource (all of the dog walkers, watching other dog walkers), have sanctions for people who over exploit the resource (the shame of being known in the local community as a turtle-nest disturber), and so on.
The turtles show that Elinor Ostrom was right - communities can manage common property resources. The real challenge is to scale up institutions for managing common pool resources - to go beyond little neighbourhoods managing snapping turtles, and find ways to solve large-scale challenges: managing parks, watersheds, the global environment.
Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
Elinor Ostrom, you were turtley right
Frances Woolley | Professor of economics at Carleton University

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