International Review of Economics

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 349–354 | Cite as

The simple economics of commons: a review of Brett M. Frischmann, “Infrastructure: The Social Value of Shared Resources”

Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Rustam Romaniuc
Book Review

Brett Frischmann’s goal in “Infrastructure: the social value of shared resources” is to pose and reflect on two central questions that are at the core of many contentious debates in law, economics, and public policy. First, we often take for granted infrastructure resources that shape our public and private lives. You are probably right now using one of the major pieces of infrastructure on which we daily rely on: the Internet. We heavily depend on this resource. The question, posed by Frischmann, is how much do we depend on this and other infrastructure resources that serve as “means to many ends”? To put it differently, where does the value for fundamental infrastructure, such as the Internet, roads, basic research, laws, or languages, come from? The second difficult question examined in this book is what is the optimal management regime for infrastructure to generate the maximum social value?

Once these two questions were asked, the author examines the range of important...


  1. Akerlof George A (1970) The market for “Lemons”: quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. Q J Econ 84:488–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buchanan James M (1965) An economic theory of clubs. Economica 32:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. David Paul A (1985) Clio and the economics of QWERTY. Am Econ Rev 75:332–337Google Scholar
  4. David Paul A (2001) Path dependence, its critics and the quest for “Historical Economics”. In: Pierre Garrouste, Ioannides S (eds) Evolution and path dependence in economic ideas: past and present. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collegio Carlo AlbertoUniversity of TurinMoncalieriItaly

Personalised recommendations