Money as the potential cause of the tragedy of the commons

Kozo Mayumi*, Mario Giampietro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018, Institute for Economic Forecasting. All rights reserved. This paper draws attention to the potential cause of “the tragedy of the commons”, which locks people into economic systems that compel the pursuit of self-interest and eventually bring ruin to all. The potential cause consists in numerous issues of money and money equivalents that defy the first and the second law of thermodynamics under the legal arrangement. Money has a dual nature: a form of wealth from an individual person’s perspective and a debt from a communal perspective. Money’s dual nature perfectly corresponds to the phenomena associated with the tragedy of commons that are caused by the inherent conflict between the individual’s concern with self-interest in economic welfare and the community’s concern with long term sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
JournalRomanian Journal of Economic Forecasting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cash credit
  • Disgregation
  • Functional decay
  • Interest
  • Money
  • Mutuum
  • Structural decay


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