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Scholar-participated governance as an alternative solution to the problem of collective action in social-ecological systems

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  • Yang, Lihua
  • Wu, Jianguo
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    Abstract

    Different from the three classical and popular models of central authority, privatization, and self-governance--which have been widely researched and applied in social-ecological policymaking in recent years, we propose an alternative model for collective action to resolve the problem of the tragedy of the commons. Our study is based on a series of game theoretic analyses and a field study of combating desertification in seven counties in Northwest China. The results show that scholars who have comparative advantages in knowledge and information over other social actors (such as herders and governments) can help game players resolve their collective action dilemma in social-ecological systems under certain conditions. This positive outcome can be achieved mainly through the participation of scholars as information providers, governmental agents, scholar-entrepreneurs, and pure game players.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8-9 (June)
    Pages: 2412-2425

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:8-9:p:2412-2425

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Collective action Scholar-participated governance Game theory Social-ecological systems Sustainability;

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    1. Rees, Ray, 1985. "The Theory of Principal and Agent: Part 2," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 75-95, May.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Demsetz, Harold, 1970. "The Private Production of Public Goods," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 293-306, October.
    5. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
    6. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
    7. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-76, October.
    8. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
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