Tragedy of the Commons is Indeed a Tragedy, Elinor Ostrom to the Contrary Notwithstanding

Here (, John Stossel relies on the tragedy of the commons in his splendid analysis of why the Pilgrims were initially starving.

Nobel Prize Winner Elinor Ostrom attacks that concept. She singles out R.J. Smith, a follower of Murray Rothbard’s, in her attack on this concept. Many mainstream economists, who should know better, have been taken in by her. She is very much mistaken, as the following indicate:

Block, Walter E. 2011. Review essay of Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; in Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 21;

Jankovic, Ivan and Walter E. Block. 2016. “Tragedy of the Partnership: A Critique of Elinor Ostrom.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Volume 75, Issue 2, pages 289–318;;;;


11:07 pm on November 30, 2017