Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Analyzing and Addressing Localized Degradation in the Commons

Author:John McPeak
Date: November 2003
Publication:Land Economics, 78(4), pp. 515-536

Social scientists are paying increasing attention to the implications for commons management of user and resource heterogeneity. This study considers the example of localized degradation of a shared rangeland where users and rangeland sub-areas differ in characteristics. A model of land-use decisions is developed. Longitudinal data on land-use decisions are investigated. The impact of proportionate reduction and uniform quota policies are evaluated by simulating estimation results. The study finds recognizing heterogeneity allows insight into the causes of localized degradation, and explains how policies intended to increase the efficiency of exploitation can go awry if heterogeneity is not recognized.


John McPeak
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 11/05/2010 07:20:48