BOX 2-4 Synthesis of Facilitating Conditions Identified by Wade, Ostrom, and Baland and Platteau

  1. Resource system characteristics

  1. Small size (RW)

  2. Well-defined boundaries (RW, EO)

  1. Group Characteristics

  1. Small size (RW, B&P)

  2. Clearly defined boundaries (RW, EO)

  3. Shared norms (B&P)

  4. Past successful experiences—social capital (RW, B&P)

  5. Appropriate leadership—young, familiar with changing external environments, connected to local traditional elite (B&P)

  6. Interdependence among group members (RW, B&P)

  7. Heterogeneity of endowments, homogeneity of identities and interests (B&P)

(1 and 2) Relationship between resource system characteristics and group characteristics

  1. Overlap between user group residential location and resource location (RW, B&P)

  2. High levels of dependence by group members on resource system (RW)

are most likely to follow from comparative research that is either based on carefully selected cases, or uses statistical techniques to analyze data from multiple cases after ensuring that the selection of cases conforms to theoretical specification of causal connections.


The set of factors identified by Wade, Ostrom, and Baland and Platteau is relatively deficient in considering resource characteristics. Only two aspects of resource systems find explicit mention by the three authors. Baland and Platteau do not include aspects of resources in their final conclusions at all.

The limited attention to resource characteristics is unfortunate. Even if we leave aside the climatic and edaphic variables that may have an impact on levels of regeneration and possibility of use, there are grounds to believe that other

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