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What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field

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  • Maria Alejandra Vélez

    ()
    (The Earth Institute, Columbia University)

  • John K. Stranlund

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • James J. Murphy

    ()
    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

This paper develops and tests several models of pure Nash strategies of individuals who extract from a common pool resource when they are motivated by a combination of self-interest and other motivations such as altruism, reciprocity, inequity aversion and conformism. We test whether an econometric summary of subjects’ strategies is consistent with one of these motivations using data from a series of common pool resource experiments conducted in three regions of Colombia. As expected, average extraction levels are less than that predicted by a model of pure self-interest, but are nevertheless sub-optimal. Moreover, we find that a model of conformism with monotonically increasing best response functions best describes average strategies. Our empirical results are inconsistent with models of altruism, reciprocity and inequity aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2005-4.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2005-4

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Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/
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Keywords: common pool resources; experiments; altruism; reciprocity; conformism;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
  5. Reichhuber, Anke & Camacho Cuena, Eva & Requate, Till, 2008. "A Framed Field Experiment on Collective Enforcement Mechanisms with Ethiopian Farmers," Economics Working Papers 2008,11, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  6. Maria Alejandra Velez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2012. "Preferences for government enforcement of a common pool harvest quota: Theory and experimental evidence from fishing communities in Colombia," Working Papers 2012-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  7. Jack, B. Kelsey, 2009. "Upstream-downstream transactions and watershed externalities: Experimental evidence from Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1813-1824, April.
  8. Prediger, Sebastian & Vollan, Björn & Frölich, Markus, 2011. "The impact of culture and ecology on cooperation in a common-pool resource experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1599-1608, July.
  9. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2012. "Mandating behavioral conformity in social groups with conformist members," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 479-493.
  10. Cherry, Josh & Salant, Stephen & Uler, Neslihan, 2013. "Experimental Departures from Self-Interest when Competing Partnerships Share Output," Discussion Papers dp-13-07, Resources For the Future.
  11. Juan Cardenas, 2011. "Social Norms and Behavior in the Local Commons as Seen Through the Lens of Field Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 451-485, March.
  12. Hayo, Bernd & Vollan, Björn, 2012. "Group interaction, heterogeneity, rules, and co-operative behaviour: Evidence from a common-pool resource experiment in South Africa and Namibia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 9-28.
  13. del Pilar Moreno-Sánchez, Rocío & Maldonado, Jorge Higinio, 2010. "Evaluating the role of co-management in improving governance of marine protected areas: An experimental approach in the Colombian Caribbean," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2557-2567, October.
  14. Sophie Clot & Gilles Grolleau & Lisette Ibanez, 2014. "An experimental analysis from a taking game in Madagascar," Working Papers 14-02, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jan 2014.
  15. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.
  16. Bernd Hayo & Björn Vollan, 2009. "Individual Heterogeneity, Group Interaction, and Co-operative Behaviour: Evidence from a Common-Pool Resource Experiment in South Africa and Namibia," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200917, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  17. Camacho-Cuena, Eva & Requate, Till, 2012. "The regulation of non-point source pollution and risk preferences: An experimental approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 179-187.
  18. Galinato, Gregmar I., 2011. "Endogenous property rights regimes, common-pool resources and trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 951-962, March.
  19. Aida, Takeshi, 2011. "Social Capital as an Instrument for Common Pool Resource Management:A Case Study of Irrigation Management in Sri Lanka," Working Papers 33, JICA Research Institute.
  20. Kimbrough Erik O. & Vostroknutov Alexander, 2012. "Using Rules to Screen for Cooperative Types: Rule-Following and Restraint in Common Pool Resource Systems," Research Memorandum 055, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  21. César A.Salazar & Mauricio G.Villena, 2005. "Evolución de preferencias bajo escenarios de información completa e incompleta: teoría y evidencia experimental," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 32(2 Year 20), pages 159-186, December.
  22. Erik O. Kimbrough & Alexander Vostroknutov, 2013. "The Social and Ecological Determinants of Common Pool Resource Sustainability," Discussion Papers dp13-06, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.

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