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Basic Needs, Property Rights and Degradation Of Commons
journal contributionposted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by B Hazari, A Kumar
A major problem in many developing countries is the degradation of commons. This degradation has occurred on account of the lack of fulfilment of the basic needs of the poor, free riding and ill–defined property rights. As these goods are essential for the survival of these people, they have to access these items from commons. This results in regular raids to common land for resources and also to private houses (for example, in New Delhi) which are not guarded for water. A variant of the agricultural household model is used to analyse the above problem. Several propositions are established and it is demonstrated that degradation can occur at both a low and high price of basic needs. This result has important policy implications as it demonstrates that land or common degradation cannot be solved by just using the price system. Properly defined property rights and provision of basic goods in kind may resolve the problem of degradation of commons.