The Tragedy of the Commune: Learning from Worst Case Scenarios

26 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2004  

Karsten Mause

University of Muenster, Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 19, 2004

Abstract

Living in an apartment-sharing community may offer numerous advantages. Unfortunately, under certain circumstances the easy, adventurous, harmonious, etc. life in a (student) flat share may turn into a Hobbesian "war of every one against every one." Applying some well-known instruments out of the economic toolbox, this paper demonstrates why flat sharers' individually rational behavior may lead to collectively undesirable outcomes, and offers some practical remedies. Tragically, even if dwellers realize to be on the road to ruin, their livable commune bit by bit turns into a dump.

Keywords: communes, shared housing, common-pool resources, collective action

JEL Classification: D01, D70, R21, R31

Suggested Citation

Mause, Karsten, The Tragedy of the Commune: Learning from Worst Case Scenarios (August 19, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=618742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.618742

Karsten Mause (Contact Author)

University of Muenster, Department of Political Science ( email )

Schlossplatz 2
Muenster, D-48149
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.karsten-mause.com/

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