Libraries correspond to a special kind of sharing goods, named common-pool resources. These resources have two unique characteristics: they are non-exclusive, but rival. The present paper measures externalities in a specific type of common-pool resource, an information commons. Employing a novel dataset related to more than 700,000 transactions in distinct libraries during a 10-year period (2006-2015), I estimate peer effects among users, considering the number of items they borrow from the library. I find that a rise in the loans of a user’s peer group correlates with her own loans, an evidence of positive peer effects. However, this result does not hold for users who are not subject to monetary fines. The results reported in this paper have important implications for theories based on common-pool resource management, as well as public goods provision.
EXTERNALITIES, INFORMATION COMMONS, LIBRARIES, PEER EFFECTS, SHARING ECONOMY