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The influence of collective property rights on grazing management in a semi-arid region

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  • Vollan, Bjorn
  • Prediger, Sebastian
  • Frolich, Markus

Abstract

In this study, common-pool resource experiments were carried out to analyze the efficiency of two simple, imperfectly enforced collective property-rights allocation rules. The design of the property-rights regimes in our experiment is based on both informal real-world arrangements practiced in the communal areas in our southern Namibian study site and the procedure used by the Namibian government, where communal farmers are granted access to resettlement farms according to their prior use of the commons. Our results suggest that in the short run the introduction of collective property rights increases the economic returns and has positive ecological effects, but that the unequal distribution stimulates inequality aversion, which diminishes the positive effect in the long run if the rules are only imperfectly enforced. We also find evidence for spiteful behavior, as a substantial fraction of subjects destroy the others’ grazing area, even though this has negative payoff consequences for the person who behaves spitefully.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/156672
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 05 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:afjare:156672

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Related research

Keywords: field experiment; common-pool resource; property rights; rule following behavior; Namibia; Land Economics/Use;

References

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  1. Mwangi, Esther, 2007. "Subdividing the Commons: Distributional Conflict in the Transition from Collective to Individual Property Rights in Kenya's Maasailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 815-834, May.
  2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Hoff, Karla & Kshetramade, Mayuresh, 2008. "Spite and development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4619, The World Bank.
  4. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  5. Simon Gaechter & Herrmann Benedikt, 2006. "The limits of self-governance in the presence of spite: Experimental evidence from urban and rural russia," Artefactual Field Experiments 00048, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Abbink, Klaus & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2009. "The pleasure of being nasty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 306-308, December.
  7. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  8. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  9. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
  10. Nikiforakis, Nikos, 2008. "Punishment and counter-punishment in public good games: Can we really govern ourselves," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 91-112, February.
  11. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
  12. David L. Dickinson, 2004. "Negative Values in Vickrey Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 222-235.
  13. Walker, James M & Gardner, Roy, 1992. "Probabilistic Destruction of Common-Pool Resources: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1149-61, September.
  14. Bischoff, Ivo, 2007. "Institutional choice versus communication in social dilemmas--An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 20-36, January.
  15. Andrew Muller & Michelle Vickers, 1996. "Communication in a Common Pool Resource Environment with Probabilistic Destruction," Department of Economics Working Papers 1996-02, McMaster University.
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