The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Common Property Rights

  • Steven N. S. Cheung
Reference work entry


In a society where individuals compete for the use of scarce resources, some rules or criteria of competition must exist to resolve the conflict. These rules, known as property rights, may be established in law, in regulation, in custom or in hierarchy ranking. The structures of rights may take a variety of forms, ranging from private property rights at one extreme to common property rights at the other. Most fall somewhere in between: either set of rights would be rare in its purest form.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven N. S. Cheung
    • 1
  1. 1.