Resource asymmetry and property rights in agricultural drainage systems: Implications for collective action

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Abstract

© 2018, Igitur, Utrecht Publishing and Archiving Services. All rights reserved. Scholarly work on examining how property rights affect incentives for collective action in common-pool resource management has benefited immensely from the property-rights analytical scheme proposed in the seminal work of Schlager and Ostrom (1992). Here we apply this scheme to agricultural drainage systems, conceptualizing them as a common-pool resource held in a private property ownership regime and exhibiting asymmetric dilemmas. We propose a property rights analytical scheme to suit the asymmetry of incentives in drainage systems, while examining how drainage management institutions allocate bundles of property rights and how property rights interact to affect incentives for collective action. Unlike Schlager and Ostrom (1992), we find that property rights are not cumulatively bundled, and that having land held in private decouples use rights from physical access rights. In addition, the existence of complementary institutional mechanisms, one landowner-driven and the other government-driven, can provide collective action incentives.

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APA

Ranjan, P., & Koontz, T. M. (2018). Resource asymmetry and property rights in agricultural drainage systems: Implications for collective action. International Journal of the Commons, 12(1), 60–81. https://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.772

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