- Name: Octavo Dia
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Book Review: The Gridlock Economy
Michael Heller has a very good idea--that the tragedy of the commons has an equal and opposite counterpart, the tragedy of the anticommons. The tragedy of the commons is wasteful overuse of a shared resource. The tragedy of the anticommons is wasteful underuse of a privatized resource. This underuse comes about when ownership of a resource is divided in too many ways, and that a more profitable use is blocked by rent-seeking of the smaller parties. He gives examples of fragmented land use, bio-patents, and unbundled property ownership.
As with all books that have one good idea, it gets very repetitive. Comparative case studies are like that, but illustrating the same principle over and over to someone who understood the concept in the first few chapters is annoying. I should have stopped reading, but I didn't.
Heller also gets off track towards the end, as he discusses legal gridlock, ala Hernando De Soto (to whom he gives a nod).
Labels: Book reviews