Never Two Without Three: Commons, Anticommons and Semicommons

15 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012

See all articles by Enrico Bertacchini

Enrico Bertacchini

University of Turin - Department of Economics

Jef De Mot

Ghent University - Faculty of Law

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law; Ugent - CASLE; Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: July 17, 2008

Abstract

A semicommons regime exists when the efficient use of a resource requires the coexistence of both common and private uses. In a seminal article, Henry Smith examined the system of semicommons property in regard to medieval open-fields. In such a system, peasants shared common land for collective grazing, but used privately owned scattered strips for grain growing. This paper provides the first formal model of semicommons property regimes. Our model demonstrates (1) how the costs of strategic behavior in semicommons regimes may outweigh those in commons regimes and (2) how semicommons regimes may solve collective action problems by introducing anticommons arrangements. We extend previous property literature by offering new insights as to conditions in which mixed property regimes emerge and fragmentation solutions are favored.

Keywords: commons, anticommons, semicommons, property

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Bertacchini, Enrico and De Mot, Jef and Depoorter, Ben, Never Two Without Three: Commons, Anticommons and Semicommons (July 17, 2008). University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-36, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1162189 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1162189

Enrico Bertacchini (Contact Author)

University of Turin - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Po 53
Torino, Turin - Piedmont 10100
Italy

Jef De Mot

Ghent University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Ben Depoorter

University of California Hastings College of Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Ugent - CASLE ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Belgium

Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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