Does Scarcity Exacerbate the Tragedy of the Commons? Evidence from Fishers’ Experimental Responses
AbstractEconomic Experimental Games (EEGs), focused to analyze dilemmas associated with the use of common pool resources, have shown that individuals make extraction decisions that deviate from the suboptimal Nash equilibrium. However, few studies have analyzed whether these deviations towards the social optimum are affected as the stock of resource changes. Performing EEG with local fishermen, we test the hypothesis that the behavior of participants differs under a situation of abundance versus one of scarcity. Our findings show that under a situation of scarcity, players over-extract a given resource, and thus make decisions above the Nash equilibrium; in doing so, they obtain less profit, mine the others-regarding interest, and exacerbate the tragedy of the commons. This result challenges previous findings from the EEG literature. When individuals face abundance of a given resource, however, they deviate downward from the prediction of individualistic behavior. The phenomenon of private, inefficient overexploitation is corrected when management strategies are introduced into the game, something that underlines the importance of institutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department in its series Documentos CEDE Series with number 91170.
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2009
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tragedy of the commons intensified; economic experimental games; resource abundance; resource scarcity; dynamic effects; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Environmental Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Land Economics/Use; Public Economics; D01; D02; D03; O13; O54; Q01; Q22; C93; C72; C73; C23;
Other versions of this item:
- Jorge Higinio Maldonado & Rocío del Pilar Moreno-Sánchez, 2009. "Does Scarcity Exacerbate the Tragedy of the Commons? Evidence from Fishers’ Experimental Responses," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006006, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
- Maldonado, Jorge Higinio & Moreno-Sanchez, Rocio del Pilar, 2008. "Does scarcity exacerbate the tragedy of the commons? Evidence from fishers’ experimental responses," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6528, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2010-07-10 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-07-10 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-07-10 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2010-07-10 (Game Theory)
- NEP-PBE-2010-07-10 (Public Economics)
- NEP-RES-2010-07-10 (Resource Economics)
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