About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Posts tagged "common-pool issues"

Restoring Manila Bay is like unclogging Manila’s traffic

The restoration of Manila Bay’s pristine quality the way it was before, or how we want it to be, is a long-term project. It will require large private and public investment in resources.

Liberating the lake

At last. A promise made by President Rodrigo Duterte, the accomplishment period of which he hasn’t pushed back. Some things are beginning to look up for 2017. I refer to the “reclamation” of the Laguna de Bai.

Duterte’s ‘No’ and the gold haul at IMO

We not only have income-poverty; we have power-poverty; and arguably the first poverty is due to the second.

Coherence and punishment

Coherence is the foundation of modern civilization. A world without coherence is unthinkable -- it is a world without electric power and that’s the Dark Ages.

Local versus national laws: when an impasse occurs

When local governments can veto nationally important projects or craft a legal quasi-blockade of nationally valuable assets within its jurisdiction, the whole nation falls into the “tragedy of nth best”, which flows from the non-use or inefficient use of national assets.

Salience and cooperation among rational egoists

We introduce the concept of the Ostrom threshold, the failure cost in excess of which cooperation is the best reply to itself. For high enough cost of failure, cooperation among rational egoists is sustained. The Ostrom threshold first rises and then falls as the fury of nature rises.

Unchecked, and with more variations

“Culture of impunity” has to describe how people behave when they think they are untouchable or are above the law. Thus, a culture of impunity and the rule of law are antithetical.

Trees, the nation, you and me (also a memoir)

The UP (University of the Philippines) Carillon Tower between the University Theater and the tennis courts has a new neighbor – the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees. Situated behind these recognizable edifices, the garden is in a plot of land of less than 1,000 square meters.


No, this is not the name of a fancy light bulb, although a light bulb might well convey the sense of revelation evoked by the idea she pioneered. Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 2009 and is to this day still the only woman to have gained that recognition.