Book Review – Chance is Hiding in the Tragedy.

《The Gridlock economy》


written by. Yang Sukwon


There are shepherd boys, sheep, grass feeding sheeps, and meadow where does not belong to anyone. People will lose everything when people attempt to much to feed their sheep in public meadow. Garrett Hardin called ‘the tragedy of the commons’. To tackle this problem, shepherds divided meadow in order to manage it, so it became plentiful grass, but it caused ‘gridlock’ which is too small to breed sheep rich grass.


The term ‘Gridlock’ is defined as a stated of traffic congestion when too many cars block an intersecting point in all directions. In other words, this is a state of stagnant economy due to fail to use of resources and produce new things. Too many ownerships disturb economic activity and block a chance of newly innovation.


‘Ownership’ is the one of the key notions in economics. Although people who own a house increased, but the real estate market worries about economic slump. Technology is getting better, so patent is becoming more pile up, but at the same time, patent is blocking progress in other innovation. It is increasing a number of people who have musical copyright, but Music market is decreasing. The more possession increase, the more private property right would slow economic growth.


Michal Heller explained gridlock with an example, BANANA Republic(Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). Many of the regulations intrude on the new developing, so it called the situation of ‘nowhere nothing can be built’. Gridlock gives different angle to view an economy system as ‘sharing economy’ which is sharing idle resources such as goods, services, knowledge, experience, and time. The problem of sharing is abuse because people are easily think the thing that belongs to everyone is nothing. On the other hand, the problem of too many ownership makes not to use of common pool resources.



We can think thoroughly about the problem of abuse which came from an excessive privatization. It requires to find an optimum point for right of property between public goods and half of public goods with finding hidden cost of gridlock. Collecting divided private properties is very important for political and financial issues, and it is opportunity to find a lost value due to half private properties. The best solution of solving gridlock is gathering chopped wonership through individual efforts, solidarity by making cooperative group, and legal mediation.


The authors insisted that if using fair means were, new market would have been built and innovation would have been promoted. Also, it can cope with gridlock by finding occurrence cause.


Thinking the concept of unused half of public goods, it is able to make effective use of idle resources in the notion of ‘sharing economy’. It will be a new shape of joint ownership for everyone to utiilize chopped rights. It can be applied from sharing vacation home to sharing time and individual ability. Chance is hiding in the tragedy.