Common Resource

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DEFINITION of 'Common Resource'

A resource, such as water or pasture, that provides users with tangible benefits. A major concern with common resources is overuse, especially when there are poor social-management systems in place to protect the core resource.

Common resources that are not owned by anyone are called open-access resources.

BREAKING DOWN 'Common Resource'

Overuse of common resources often leads to economic problems such as the tragedy of the commons, where user self-interest leads to the destruction of the resource in the long term, to the disadvantage of everyone.

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