[clug] Nobel Prize on Economics & Open Source

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Mon Oct 12 22:22:02 MDT 2009

Alan Kohler comments on yesterdays' Nobel Prize in Economics:
[Apologies in Advance if it needs a login or cookies]
[Will post full text if asked]

=> F/LOSS is definitely 'commons' and is self-governing.
   Nice to see there's a theoretical description.

"The statement that their award makes is that the world is not simply a
duel between markets and governments, even though it seems that way in 2009.

"Ostrom and Williamson study the way decisions are made and transactions
occur outside markets and governments.

"Ostrom’s work focuses on what’s called "governing the commons" – common
property managed through co-operation between associations of people,
without the heavy hand of government and regulation.

"It’s usually assumed that common ownership and governance of a resource
results in over-use ...
In fact, according to the Swedish Academy, Professor Ostrom "has
concluded that common property is often surprisingly well managed".

"...the standard theoretical argument against common property is overly
simplistic. It neglects the fact that users themselves can both create
and enforce rules that mitigate overexploitation.
The standard argument also neglects the practical difficulties
associated with privatisation and government regulation."

"One economics blogger, Arnold King of EconLog put her work in the
context of the anarchy of the internet, with such things as Wikipedia
and Twitter emerging spontaneously as private providers of public goods.

 "Ostrom studied cases in which private individuals established rules
that worked. Meanwhile, government regulations (including assignment of
property rights) often failed, particularly when individuals did not buy
in to the purpose of the regulation."

"The Royal Swedish Academy’s brief on Williamson says he “argued that
hierarchical organisations sometimes dominate markets because they
provide a cheaper way to resolve conflicts."

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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