Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environmental and Resource Economics, Volume 4, Number 6, p.581–594 (1994)



H23, JEL Classification


This paper finds that the voluntary collective action may be an alternative to market and government in the management of common property resources. In developing countries, the people's capabilities to harness the preserved commons and the fairness in the appropriation of benefits from them are the limits on the voluntary collective action. It shows that collective action is possible if an outside agency plays the role of a catalyst in mitigating these limits. It also shows that there can be mutually beneficial sharing arrangements between government and village communities for the management of local forest resources. The standard result that common and state property resources turn into open access resources as population grows also holds good for the natural resources jointly managed by government and people.

Cite this Research Publication

Maddipati Narsimha Murty, “Management of common property resources: Limits to voluntary collective action”, Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 4, pp. 581–594, 1994.