The Tragedy of the Commune: Learning from Worst Case Scenarios
University of Muenster, Department of Political Science
August 19, 2004
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: communes, shared housing, common-pool resources, collective action
JEL Classification: D01, D70, R21, R31
Date posted: November 13, 2004