The Commons of Knowledge: A Historical Perspective

The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Volume IV, 2011-2012

16 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2012

See all articles by Joel Mokyr

Joel Mokyr

Northwestern University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In this paper prepared for the Miller Upton Forum on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Joel Mokyr examines the ways in which “useful knowledge” — knowledge that can be applied to a wide variety of practical applications — is a common pool resource, and therefore presents all the problems associated with CPR management. The incentive problem with this particular CPR is not that it will be overused, but that it will be under-produced. Mokyr describes how intellectual societies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries solved this problem by incentivizing the creation of useful knowledge even though there was usually no direct remuneration for doing so.

Keywords: common pool resources, knowledge, incentives

Suggested Citation

Mokyr, Joel, The Commons of Knowledge: A Historical Perspective (2011). The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, Volume IV, 2011-2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176273

Joel Mokyr (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
708-491-5693 (Phone)
708-491-7001 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
457
rank
441,720
PlumX Metrics