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Common access resource


A resource, or good, whose characteristics make it costly to exclude potential consumers from its usage, and which is vulnerable to congestion and overuse. In this sense it is an impure public good. An example is a lake that can be used by any fisherman, or a field that can be used for grazing by any farmer. The tragedy of the commons describes the inefficient equilibrium that results from overuse. See also global commons.


Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.