Common property

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A common or collective good is a good that all potential buyers is freely accessible. Common goods can be provided by the state or by private providers (e.g. parts of the Internet or Wikipedia ). Public goods and commons are common goods with the property of non- excludability .

“A resource is 'free' when (1) you can use it without permission; or (2) permission to use them is given neutrally. "


In the following schematic from the book Who Owns the World? , edited by Silke Helfrich , the names have been adapted to those used here. In this context, open access means unlimited access for the respective authorized group.

private goods Public goods
Private good Common good Open Access (with restricted access)
( Klubgut )
Open Access (without access restrictions)
( public good )
Group limitation a person open to everyone members only open to everyone
Usage Limitation Usage limited by individual decision Usage limited by rules Unlimited use Unlimited use
example private apartment Gym of a sports club Pay TV Wikipedia


Common goods enable all social classes to benefit from the use of a good. Above all, they have a social function: The partially free provision of the good of knowledge aims to give socially weaker classes access to this emancipating good, which is viewed as positive . In this case one speaks of merit goods .


In the case of common goods, there is a risk of the free rider problem occurring . This manifests itself in the form of the appropriation problem when freely available scarce resources are overexploited (→  tragedy of the commons ) or in the form of the provision problem when public goods cannot be made available or cannot be made available sufficiently.

See also


  1. The table is based on: Glenn G. Stevenson: Common Property Economics. A General Theory on Land Use Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 1991, ISBN 0-521-38441-9 , p. 58, quoted by Achim Lerch: Tragedy of the “Tragedy of the Commons” from: Silke Helfrich, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Ed.): Who Owns the World? 2009, p. 92.


Web links

Wiktionary: Commons  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence