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The challenge of understanding decisions in experimental studies of common pool resource governance

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Author Info

  • Anderies, John M.
  • Janssen, Marco A.
  • Bousquet, François
  • Cardenas, Juan-Camilo
  • Castillo, Daniel
  • Lopez, Maria-Claudio
  • Tobias, Robert
  • Vollan, Björn
  • Wutich, Amber

Abstract

Common pool resource experiments in the laboratory and the field have provided insights that have contrasted to those derived from conventional non-cooperative game theory. Contrary to predictions from non-cooperative game theory, participants are sometimes willing to restrain voluntarily from over extracting resources and use costly punishment to sanction other participants. Something as simple as face-to-face communication has been shown to increase average earnings significantly. In the next generation of experiments, both in the laboratory and in the field, we need to extract more information that provides insight concerning why people make the decisions they make. More information is needed concerning attributes of individuals as well as the social and social-ecological context in which they interact that may give rise to such deviations from theoretical predictions. In the process of extracting more information from participants and the contexts in which they interact, we face several methodological and ethical challenges which we address in this paper.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (July)
Pages: 1571-1579

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:9:p:1571-1579

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

Related research

Keywords: Common pool resources Collective action Experimental economics Methodology Context;

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Cited by:
  1. Esther Blanco & Maria Claudia Lopez & James M. Walker, 2013. "Tensions Between the Resource Damage and the Private Benefits of Appropriation in the Commons," Working Papers 2013-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Saldarriaga-Isaza, Adrián & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Arango, Santiago, 2013. "The public good dilemma of a non-renewable common resource: A look at the facts of artisanal gold mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 224-232.
  3. Speelman, E.N. & García-Barrios, L.E. & Groot, J.C.J. & Tittonell, P., 2014. "Gaming for smallholder participation in the design of more sustainable agricultural landscapes," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 62-75.
  4. Siegwart Lindenberg, 2014. "Sustainable cooperation needs tinkering with both rules and social motivation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 71-81, April.
  5. Anderies, John M. & Janssen, Marco A. & Lee, Allen & Wasserman, Hannah, 2013. "Environmental variability and collective action: Experimental insights from an irrigation game," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 166-176.
  6. Vogt, Nora & Reeson, Andrew F. & Bizer, Kilian, 2013. "Communication, competition and social gift exchange in an auction for public good provision," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 11-19.
  7. d'Adda, Giovanna, 2011. "Motivation crowding in environmental protection: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2083-2097, September.

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