In and Out of the Commons: Extractive Public Entrepreneurship and the Aggie Blue Bikes Program

17 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2010  

Diana Weinert Thomas

Creighton University

Ryan Yonk

Utah State University - Department of Political Science

Stephen Young

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 29, 2010

Abstract

Local self-governance institutions, which emerge through a slow trial and error process, can solve common property resource problems. Elinor Ostrom, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in economics, suggests in her work that the presence of local leaders is a prerequisite for the successful solution of commons problems. We suggest here that such leaders are similar to entrepreneurs in the private market place and that the literature on private entrepreneurship can help illuminate the motives and roles of entrepreneurs in the emergence of local self-governance institutions. We combine the literature on private entrepreneurship with the literature on extractive rent seeking to illustrate potential motives for local self-governance entrepreneurs. We illustrate our theory using the example of a bike-sharing program at Utah State University that was started by a student entrepreneur who was motivated by the private rent extraction potential of the program.

JEL Classification: L26, D72, P43

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Diana Weinert and Yonk, Ryan and Young, Stephen, In and Out of the Commons: Extractive Public Entrepreneurship and the Aggie Blue Bikes Program (November 29, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1716974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1716974

Diana Weinert Thomas (Contact Author)

Creighton University ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States

Ryan Yonk

Utah State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

0725 University Blvd.
Logan, UT 84322-0725
United States

Stephen Young

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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