Tragedy of the commons
The tragedy of the commons is a term, probably coined originally by William Forster Lloyd and later used by Garrett Hardin, to denote a situation where individuals acting independently and rationally according to each's self-interest behave contrary to the best interests of the whole group by depleting some common resource. The concept was based upon an essay written in 1833 by Lloyd, the Victorian economist, on the effects of unregulated grazing on common land and made widely-known by an article written by Hardin in 1968.""Commons"" in this sense has come to mean such resources as atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, an office refrigerator, energy or any other shared resource which is not formally regulated, not common land in its agricultural sense.The tragedy of the commons concept is often cited in connection with sustainable development, meshing economic growth and environmental protection, as well as in the debate over global warming. It has also been used in analyzing behavior in the fields of economics, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, game theory, politics, taxation, and sociology. However the concept, as originally developed, has also received criticism for not taking into account the many other factors operating to enforce or agree on regulation in this scenario.