Common Ownership of Public Goods

Maija Halonen-Akatwijuka, Evagelos Pafilis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


We analyze ownership of public goods in a repeated game focusing on common ownership. Under common ownership an owner’s access to the public good cannot be restricted by other owners. We find that under common ownership both the value of the relationship and the gain from deviation are high. Common ownership can provide the best incentives for cooperation when the value of the public good cannot be increased much by maintenance investments or the maintenance costs are sufficiently convex. We argue that these conditions are satisfied in Ostrom’s field studies of irrigation systems and common lands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-578
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Early online date13 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Structured keywords

  • ECON Microeconomic Theory


  • public goods
  • common pool resources
  • property right theory
  • relational contracts
  • common ownership
  • joint ownership


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