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Context matters to explain field experiments: Results from Colombian and Thai fishing villages

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Author Info

  • Castillo, Daniel
  • Bousquet, François
  • Janssen, Marco A.
  • Worrapimphong, Kobchai
  • Cardenas, Juan Camillo

Abstract

During the last decade, field experiments regarding the study of common pool resource governance have been performed that replicated earlier findings of laboratory experiments. One of the questions is how the decisions made by participants in rural communities are influenced by their experience. This paper presents the results of field experiments in Colombia and Thailand on fishery resources. Context information is derived from the communities via in-depth interviews, surveys and role playing exercises. The use of different methodological tools allowed to link decisions in field experiments with contextual variables for two fishery villages. Explanation of core variables in social dilemmas is given, the degree of cooperation levels, preferred rules, rule compliance and enforcement. Main findings include: i) fishermen made decisions in the field experiments that reflected their own experience and context, ii) agreements for rule crafting are possible only under specific conditions that guarantees livelihoods and sustainability, iii) the broader context determines cooperation levels at a local level, iv) inequalities in the sanctioning of rule breakers decrease the possibilities of reaching cooperation agreements, and v) high levels of trust among local fishermen is not a sufficient condition for resource sustainability, when trust in external rule makers and enforcers is low.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (July)
Pages: 1609-1620

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:9:p:1609-1620

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

Related research

Keywords: Field experiments Role games Fisheries Rules Cooperation Trust;

References

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  1. Smith, Vernon L., 2010. "Theory and experiment: What are the questions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 3-15, January.
  2. Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2005. "Groups, commons and regulations: Experiments with villagers and students in colombia," Artefactual Field Experiments 00026, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Olivier Barreteau, 2003. "Our Companion Modelling Approach," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(2), pages 1.
  4. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Vollan, Björn & Prediger, Sebastian & Frölich, Markus, 2013. "Co-managing common-pool resources: Do formal rules have to be adapted to traditional ecological norms?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 51-62.
  2. 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.
  3. Narloch, Ulf & Pascual, Unai & Drucker, Adam G., 2012. "Collective Action Dynamics under External Rewards: Experimental Insights from Andean Farming Communities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2096-2107.
  4. Otto, Ilona M. & Wechsung, Frank, 2014. "The effects of rules and communication in a behavioral irrigation experiment with power asymmetries carried out in North China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 10-20.

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