News story for the VX Boy

This article in the today’s NY Times discusses how musicians who play near the site where John Lennon died have had trouble managing the common resource of a strategically placed park bench. Currently, however, they have worked out an informal arrangement that appears to work well. The article reminded me of the work of Elinor Ostrom, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in part for her work on self-governance of the commons.

Given that said VX Boy is the economics professor who has actually done this very thing, shared dogging busking sites.

5 thoughts on “News story for the VX Boy”

  1. The Pedant-General

    Well yes and no.

    ISTM, in the absence of a market system, they have had to agree a benevolent dictator. The story relates that there was one of those (of varying degrees of benevolence) who died, leaving chaos. They now have another one.

    The most engaged parties appear to accept the arbitration of an individual, but if he goes as I rather suspect he eventually will, I rather suspect the chaos will resume.

    Great that they have managed to agree a truce on their own, but it’s a temporary ceasefire rather than a stable peace.

  2. Ostrom emphasises that the Commons work only if non-members of the club are excluded. So it will take one newcomer busker to bring chaos again.

  3. Imagine there’s no memorial
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to fight or curse for
    And no musicians too

  4. bif – indeed.
    That was the whole point of Rights in Common. Each Right (turbary, piscary, etc) was granted by the landowner to an exclusive group of named Commoners. Anyone trying to muscle in was, um, invited to go elsewhere.

  5. I did see this, and I sent off something to Greg Mankiw about it.

    But, I’m on medical hiatus from blogging right now, so it might be a few weeks before I post about this.

    The vX Man
    (The vX Boy is 17, and he’s out cutting the grass right now).

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