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Does Government Regulation Complement Existing Community Efforts to Support Cooperation? Evidence from Field Experiments in Colombia

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Author Info

  • Maria Claudia Lopez

    ()
    (Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN)

  • James J. Murphy

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK)

  • John M Spraggon

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

  • John K. Stranlund

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

Abstract

In this paper we describe a field experiment conducted among mollusk harvesters in a community on the Pacific Coast of Columbia. The experiment is based on a standard linear public good and consists of two stages. In the first stage we compare the ability of monetary and nonmonetary sanctions among community members to increase contributions to the public good. In the second stage we add a government regulation with either a high or low sanction for noncompliance to community enforcement efforts. The results for the first stage are consistent with other comparisons of monetary and nonmonetary sanctions within groups; both led to higher contributions. The results from the second stage reveal that government regulations always complemented community enforcement efforts. While the subjects tended to reduce their sanctioning efforts under the government regulations, contributions and earnings were significantly higher than without government interventions. In fact, the combination of community and government enforcement efforts generated near-perfect contributions to the public good. However, more research into the combined roles of government intervention and community enforcement efforts is needed because the complementarity we find may be situation-specific.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008-4.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2008-4

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Keywords: Field experiments; public goods; government regulation; community enforcement;

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References

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  1. Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2005. "Groups, commons and regulations: Experiments with villagers and students in colombia," Artefactual Field Experiments 00026, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Maria Alejandra Velez & James J. Murphy & John K. Stranlund, 2006. "Centralized and Decentralized Management of Local Common Pool Resources in the Developing World: Experimental Evidence from Fishing Communities in Colombia," Working Papers 2006-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  3. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Daniere, Amrita G. & Takahashi, Lois M., 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in Southeast Asian urban slums," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 533-551, December.
  4. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 419-436, November.
  5. Jennifer Zelmer, 2003. "Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 299-310, November.
  6. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Juan-Camilo Cardenas & John Stranlund & Cleve Willis, 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out," Artefactual Field Experiments 00028, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  9. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612, October.
  12. 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. Samuel Bowles & Sandra PolanĂ­a 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.
  2. Samuel Bowles & Sandra PolanĂ­a Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo Group Munich.

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