Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 399–414 | Cite as

Modeling Effort and Lobbying in a Heterogeneous Common Pool Resource Setting



Extraction from a common pool resource (CPR), such as a fishery, can lead to socially inefficient and undesirable outcomes as a result of appropriation problems. Through regulation of the CPR, users may achieve a more profitable and socially efficient outcome. Feeny et al. (Land Econ 72(2):187–205, 1996) delve into some of the assumptions made by traditional CPR models and how use of those assumptions provides an incomplete framework to guide fishery policy. In the theoretical models we develop, we relax two of those assumptions: CPR users are homogeneous and are unable to create, or influence, management of the resource. We note a case where regulation of the individual user can induce others to harvest more, and relate this to the slippage effect concept. Regarding resource sustainability, we document situations where incentives exist for CPR users to lobby for tighter regulations and thus increase profits by limiting the tragedy of the commons influence.


Common pool resource Cooperative Fisheries Heterogeneity Lobbying 


  1. Bwalya MS (2005) The experimental analysis of the political economy of fisheries governance. Unpublished Dissertation, Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode IslandGoogle Scholar
  2. Demsetz H (1967) Toward a theory of property rights. Am Econ Rev 57:347–359Google Scholar
  3. Faysse N (2005) Coping with the tragedy of the commons: game structure and design of rules. J Econ Surv 19(2):239–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Feeny D, Hanna S, McEvoy AF (1996) Questioning the assumptions of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ model of fisheries. Land Econ 72(2):187–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fraser I, Waschik R (2005) Agricultural land retirement and slippage: lessons from an Australian case study. Land Econ 81(2):206–226Google Scholar
  6. Hackett SC (1992) Heterogeneity and the provision of governance for common-pool resources. J Theor Polit 4(3):325–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Janssen MA, Ostrom E (2007) Adoption of a new regulation for the governance of common-pool resources by a heterogeneous population. In: Baland J-M, Bardhan P, Bowles S (eds) Inequality, cooperation, and environmental sustainability. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, pp 60–96Google Scholar
  8. Johnson RN, Libecap GD (1982) Contracting problems and regulation: the case of the fishery. Am Econ Rev 72(5):1005–1022Google Scholar
  9. Libecap GD (2007) Assigning property rights in the common pool: implications of the prevalence of first-possession rules for ITQs in fisheries. Marine Resour Econ 22(4):407–423Google Scholar
  10. Lichtenberg E, Smith-Ramirez R (2011) Slippage in conservation cost sharing. Am J Agric Econ 93(1):113–129Google Scholar
  11. Lueck D (1995) The rule of first possession and the design of the law. J Law Econ 38(2):393–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Margreiter M, Sutter M, Dittrich D (2005) Individual and collective choice and voting in common pool resource problem with heterogeneous actors. Environ Resour Econ 32:241–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. New England Fishery Management Council (1993) Final amendment #5 to the northeast multispecies fishery management plan incorporating the supplemental environmental impact statement. Volume 1. http://nefmc.org/nemulti/planamen/Amend5-.pdf. Cited 29 June 2012
  14. Ostrom E, Gardner R, Walker J (1994) Rules, games, and common-pool resources. The University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  15. Pomeroy RS, Berkes F (1997) Two to tango: the role of government in fisheries co-management. Marine Policy 21(5):465–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rhodes TC, Wilson PN (1995) Sky islands, squirrels, and scopes: the political economy of an environmental conflict. Land Econ 71(1):106–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ruttan LM (2008) Economic heterogeneity and the commons: effects on the collective action and collective goods provisioning. World Dev 36(5):969–985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schlager E (1994) Fishers’ institutional responses to common-pool resource dilemmas. In: Ostrom E, Gardner R, Walker J (eds) Rules, games, and common-pool resources. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, pp 247–265Google Scholar
  19. Squires D (2010) Fisheries buybacks: a review and guidelines. Fish Fish 11:366–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Walker JM, Gardner R, Herr A, Ostrom E (2000) Collective choice in the commons: experimental results on proposed allocation rules and votes. Econ J 110:212–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wu J (2000) Slippage effects of the conservation reserve program. Am J Agric Econ 82(4):979–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Yandle T (2006) Sharing natural resource management responsibility: examining the New Zealand rock lobster co-management experience. Policy Sci 39:249–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Young OR (2007) Rights, rules, and common pools: solving problems arising in human/environment relations. Nat Resour J 47(1):1–16Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations