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Wildy’s Book News

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Vol 22 No 5 May/June 2017

Book of the Month

Cover of Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt

Arlidge, Eady & Smith on Contempt

Edited by: Patricia Londono, David Eady, A.T.H. Smith, Rt. Hon Lord Eassie
Price: £319.00

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The Political Economy of Customs and Culture

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ISBN13: 9780847677863
ISBN: 0847677869
Published: July 1994
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print



Since the writings of Adam Smith, economists have understood the important role that private property rights play in a well functioning economic system. Without well-defined, enforced and transferable property rights, the tragedy of the commons is said to result, as in the classic case of over-fishing and over-grazing. This book challenges this narrow view of property rights by examining the role of informal constraints imposed by customs and culture. Recognising that a great deal of human interaction takes place in the absence of individually specified rights, the authors challenge the notion that a tragic outcome is inevitable with regard to commons.