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Appropriating the Commons A Theoretical Explanation

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  • Armin Falk
  • Ernst Fehr
  • Urs Fischbacher

Abstract

In this paper we show that a simple model of fairness preferences explains major experimental regularities of common pool resource (CPR) experiments. The evidence indicates that in standard CPR games without communication and without sanctioning possibilities inefficient excess appropriation is the rule. However, when communication or informal sanctions are available appropriation behavior is more efficient. Our analysis shows that these regularities arise naturally when a fraction of the subjects exhibits reciprocal preferences.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-05/cesifo_wp474.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 474.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_474

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Keywords: Common pool resources; experiments; fairness; reciprocity; game theory; fairness models;

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References

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Walker, James M. & Gardner, Roy & Ostrom, Elinor, 1990. "Rent dissipation in a limited-access common-pool resource: Experimental evidence," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-211, November.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  4. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, . "Testing Theories of Fairness - Intentions Matter," IEW - Working Papers 063, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dimitrios Diamantaras & Robert P. Gilles, 2010. "Ambiguity, Social Opinion and the Use of Common Property Resources," DETU Working Papers, Department of Economics, Temple University 1006, Department of Economics, Temple University.
  2. Gilles, R.P. & Lazarova, E.A. & Ruys, P.H.M., 2008. "Stable Economic Cooperation: A Relational Approach," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 2008-25, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004. "Money and Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 915-944, October.
  4. Reto Föllmi & Urs Meister, . "Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntarily Nondiscriminatory Pricing," IEW - Working Papers 115, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "Money and the Gains from Trade," IEW - Working Papers 100, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Maria Alejandra Vélez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2005. "What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field," Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics 2005-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  7. Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé & Björn Schmalfuss, . "Random Fixed Points in a Stochastic Solow Growth Model," IEW - Working Papers 065, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "On the Efficiency of Monetary Exchange:How Divisibility of Money Matters," IEW - Working Papers 101, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Gerlinde Fellner & Magdalena Margreiter & Nuria Oses Eraso, 2003. "When the past is present – The ratchet effect in the local commons," Papers on Strategic Interaction, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group 2003-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.

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