THE CDI BLOG

Standing on the shoulders of broken links: The Knowledge Commons in the face of the internet

All of those who have studied economics at any level will have been introduced to the concept of the commons. A Commons is a resource, shared by a group of people that is subject to social dilemmas (Hess & Ostrom, 2007). In most cases this is taught alongside Hardin’s theory of the tragedy of the commons. The traditional example is that of an open pasture in which it is expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle on the commons as possible, leading to the phrase: “Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all” (Hardin, 1968). As such, the only solution was seen as privatisation or government. However, since then, many studies have found that groups can effectively manage and sustai

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Cambridge Digital Innovation

Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge

Cambridge Judge Business School

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