How do groups solve local commons dilemmas? Lessons from experimental economics in the field
AbstractThe use of experimental settings to observe human behaviour in a controlled environment of incentives, rules and institutions, has been widely used by the behavioural sciences for some time now, particularly by psychology and economics. In most cases the subjects are college students recruited from one to two hour decision making exercises in which, depending on their choices, they earn cash averaging US$ 20. In such exercises players face a set of feasible actions, rules and incentives (payoffs) involving different forms of social exchange with other people, and that in most cases involve some kind of externalities with incomplete contracts, such as in the case of common-pool resources situations. Depending on the ecological and institutional settings, the resource users face a set of feasible levels of extraction, a set of rules regarding the control or monitoring of individual use, and sometimes ways of imposing material or non-material costs or rewards to those breaking or following the rules. We brought the experimental lab to the field and invited about two hundred users of natural resources in three Columbian rural villages to participate in such decision making exercises and through these and other research instruments we learned about the ways they solve - or fail to - tragedies of the commons with different social institutions. Further, bringing the lab to the field allowed us to explore some of the limitations of existing models about human behavior and its consequences for designing policies for conserving ecosystems and improving social welfare.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00018.
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com
Other versions of this item:
- Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2000. "How Do Groups Solve Local Commons Dilemmas? Lessons from Experimental Economics in the Field," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 305-322, September.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Juan-Camilo Cardenas & John Stranlund & Cleve Willis, 2000.
"Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out,"
Artefactual Field Experiments
00028, The Field Experiments Website.
- Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
- Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
- Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
- Villena, Mauricio G. & Zecchetto, Franco, 2010.
"Subject-specific Performance Information can worsen the Tragedy of the Commons: Experimental Evidence,"
27783, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Dec 2010.
- Villena, Mauricio G. & Zecchetto, Franco, 2011. "Subject-specific performance information can worsen the tragedy of the commons: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 330-347, June.
- Ward, John & Tisdell, John G. & Whitten, Stuart M., 2006. "Experimentally Testing Institutions And Policy Instruments To Coordinate Groundwater Recharge in the Coleambally Irrigation Area," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 139923, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- 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.
- d'Adda, Giovanna, 2011. "Motivation crowding in environmental protection: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2083-2097, September.
- Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "The value-added of laboratory experiments for the study of institutions and common-pool resources," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 149-163, October.
- Ahn, T.K. & Ostrom, Elinor & Walker, James, 2010. "A common-pool resource experiment with postgraduate subjects from 41 countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2624-2633, October.
- 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.
- Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2002. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: Evidence from field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00019, The Field Experiments Website.
- Elinor Ostrom, 2014. "Do institutions for collective action evolve?," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 3-30, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.