Game Theory Shows How Tragedies of the Commons Might be Averted

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Georgia Tech researchers have developed a theory to unite the study of behavior and its effect on the environment, combining theories of strategic behavior with those of resource depletion and restoration, leading to what they term an “oscillating tragedy of the commons.” Shown is Professor Joshua Weitz. (Credit: Stephen Beckett, Georgia Tech)


When Lake Lanier’s water level drops below a certain point, calls go out for water conservation. The combination of usage restrictions and changes in precipitation eventually averts the crisis. But, when the crisis ends, water usage rebounds – until the next shortage. This photo shows conditions from the 2007 drought. (Credit: Ed Jackson)