Commons (economics)

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This article is about the term in economics. For other uses of the term Commons, please see Commons (disambiguation).

Commons refers to:

  1. A pool or set of common resources together with the agents controlling inflows and outflows of resources from the pool;
  2. A bundle of rights held jointly or collectively by a group of people; traditionally referred to land or real property, more recently also includes many other types of valuables (knowledge, open source software information, copyrights, social relations);
  3. (3) An association of those controlling such pools or collectively holding such rights.

"The commons is neither private nor public: neither business firm nor state utility, neither jealously guarded private plot nor national or city park. But it is not usually open to all: the relevant local community typically decides who uses it and how. Indeed, commons regimes can be defined more through their social and cultural organization than their physical location: for example, local or group power, distinctions between members and non-members, rough parity among members, a concern with common safety rather than accumulation, and an absence of the constraints which lead to economic scarcity." [1]

References

  1. Nicholas Hildyard, Larry Lohmann, Sarah Sexton and Simon Fairlie. Reclaiming the Commons. Paper presented at the 1995 Annual Conference of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom, York.