The near extermination of the North American bison is widely viewed as a case of the overuse of an open-access resource—a classic example of the tragedy of the commons. This “tragic” view, however, ignores the rising opportunity cost of grasslands that could support a more commercially viable commodity: cattle.

Peter J. Hill is the George F. Bennett Professor Emeritus of Business and Economics at Wheaton College.
Agriculture RegulationEconomyEnergy and the EnvironmentLand UseLaw and LibertyNatural ResourcesProperty Rights, Land Use, and Zoning
Other Independent Review articles by Peter J. Hill
Summer 2022 Free Enterprise Environmentalism
Spring 2020 The Keynesian Revolution and Our Empty Economy: We’re All Dead
Summer 2017 Judeo-Christian Thought, Classical Liberals, and Modern Egalitarianism
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