Chapter 49. The Tragedy of the Commons

  1. R. G. Frey and
  2. Christopher Heath Wellman
  1. David Schmidtz and
  2. Elizabeth Willott

Published Online: 26 NOV 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470996621.ch49

A Companion to Applied Ethics

A Companion to Applied Ethics

How to Cite

Schmidtz, D. and Willott, E. (2005) The Tragedy of the Commons, in A Companion to Applied Ethics (eds R. G. Frey and C. Heath Wellman), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470996621.ch49

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 NOV 2007
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 2005

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781557865946

Online ISBN: 9780470996621



  • problems of common property;
  • private property as a solution;
  • communal management;
  • open access commons;
  • custom management


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Logic of the Commons

  • Private Property as a Solution to Commons Problems

  • Example: A Successful Privatization

  • An Alternative Solution: Communal Management

  • The Open Access Commons: A Different Sort of Problem

  • Custom

  • Extending the Framework

  • Overpopulation

  • Conclusion