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Transferring Williamson's discriminating alignment to the analysis of environmental governance of social-ecological interdependence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
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Number of Authors: 8
2016 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 128, 159-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Institutional fit is operationalized by transferring transaction costs economics (TCE) to the analysis of instances of social-ecological interdependence. We carefully spell out the differences with conventional TCE and outline analytical steps based on discriminating alignment that enable a TCE analysis of environmental governance of nature-related transactions. We illustrate the approach through the example of wildlife management in Germany. Here we find hierarchical governance (a prohibition) of killing of wolves embedded into a polycentric hybrid monitoring arrangement. In applying TCE to nature-related transactions, we argue that characteristics of nature-related transactions can be subsumed under the core categories of jointness, uncertainty, asset specificity, frequency, rivalry, excludability and social-relational distance. Benefits of this approach include its generating a narrow list of descriptors of instances of biophysically mediated interdependence related to one evaluation criterion: cost-effectiveness. The TCE of nature-related transactions thus identifies sets of stylized contextual factors and aspects related to the governance of hazards of ex-post opportunistic behavior that cut across scales. They can be used as composite descriptors that facilitate analysis of complex multi-scalar arrangements of natural resource governance. We propose the concept of 'governance challenge', derived from TCE, as being useful for building research on environmental governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 128, 159-168 p.
Keyword [en]
Transaction costs analysis, Institutional analysis, Socialecological, Systems, Wildlife management
National Category
Biological Sciences Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132933DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.04.018ISI: 000378669700017OAI: diva2:957338
Available from: 2016-09-01 Created: 2016-08-26 Last updated: 2016-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Schlüter, Maja
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Stockholm Resilience Centre
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