The ""tragedy of the commons"" refers to a situation in which the cumulative effect of large numbers of people trying to exploit a widely available or shared resource can degrade it and eventually exhaust or ruin it.


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Tragedy of commons refers to a situation where the self-interest of individual would cost the other in a resource-sharing system. "Common" in the term refers to the resources shared commonly such as roads, highways, rivers, atmosphere, etc. The term was made famous by American ecologist Garrett Harding in the twentieth century addressing modern problems. The concept addresses the problem in which resource consumption by an individual deplete the other members of the group, of these resources in a system where there is no bar on consumption.

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