Common Good, the Climate and the Market

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  • Book (French): Benjamin Coriat. Le bien commun, le climat et le marché. Editions Les Liens qui Libèrent, 2021



Via Google Translate:

1. From the author, Benjamin Coriat:

“In 2016, Jean Tirole, Nobel Prize winner in economics, published Economics of the Common Good, a work quickly praised by critics. Yet this book, starting with its very title, does not stop questioning and arousing criticism and astonishment. Indeed, what is referred to by the author as “economics of the common good” is in fact nothing more than his old theory of incentives and regulation, barely brought up to date.

Tirole's proposals are so far removed from those which, based on the work of Elinor Ostrom - 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics - now constitute the commons approach that it seemed to me necessary here, for clarity things and cut short the risk of confusion, to make a few clarifications.

By comparing the two approaches, both in terms of theory and with regard to this essential common good that is the climate, the differences appear in all their magnitude. While Tirole's central proposal for tackling climate change is to promote a market in rights to pollute, Ostrom's proposal instead aims to block market adjustments from a governance she describes as " polycentric", of which the Citizen's Climate Convention provides a good illustration.

These two opposing conclusions say it enough: in no way can a theory of the common good, more alive and necessary than ever, be reduced to what it has been claimed to be reduced to. »

(Benjamin Coriat / Editions LLL 2021)

2. From the publisher:

“In The common good, the climate and the market, Benjamin Coriat therefore bases his thinking on the critique of the Economy of the common good, the work of Jean Tirole which deals with common goods without however referring to the long genesis existing works around this concept. For Benjamin Coriat, the climate, a global common good, cannot be treated as a commodity and must be placed “outside trade”. It basically demonstrates how the logic of the market is powerless to combat the systemic phenomenon of global warming. It confronts the liberal point of view (the omnipotence of the market capable of solving all problems) with its opposite: the necessary "fair" governance (polycentric) of this essential common good, of which small communities constitute the base (thus throwing light on all dimensions of Elena Ostrom's work on the commons, in particular her analyzes of the climate as a global commons).

This exchange will also be an opportunity to revisit with Benjamin Coriat essential concepts, sometimes poorly known or poorly understood, which cross the field of the commons: from polycentric governance in Ostrom to the theory of the veil of ignorance, including the problem of stowaway.”