Most famously, poorly defined property rights often lead to a "tragedy of the commons." Because the open oceans are not owned by anyone, and because a whale doesn't become anyone's property until it is captured, no one has any incentives to preserve whale stocks so that whales can sustainably reproduce.
Science Fiction and Economic Fiction Donald J Boudreaux Freeman; Nov 2009; 59, 9; Docstoc pg. 18 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner
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