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The Evolution of Resource Property Rights$
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Anthony Scott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198286035.001.0001

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Fugacious Resources and Common Property

Fugacious Resources and Common Property

(p.55) 2 Fugacious Resources and Common Property
The Evolution of Resource Property Rights

Anthony Scott

Oxford University Press

This brief chapter introduces the similarities in the evolution of the characteristics of property rights over the using of running water, petroleum resources, and stocks of ocean fish. These are all the subjects of later chapters. Often described as ‘access’ to common-pool or common-property resources, rights have evolved but have failed to gain the exclusivity characteristic. The chapter attributes this failure to lack of incentive on the demand side. On the supply side, ancient doctrines such as free public access deterred the courts from accepting claims to private rights in user conflicts. These matters are illustrated in the next two chapters (and in Chapter 9, for coal and petroleum).

Keywords:   public access, common property, contract law, exclusivity, tort law

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