Shut Up and Fish: The Role of Communication when Output-Sharing is used to Manage a Common Pool Resource
AbstractSchott et al. (2007) have shown that the “tragedy of the commons” can be overcome when individuals share their output equally in groups of optimal size and there is no communication. The assignment of individuals to groups as either strangers or partners does not significantly affect this outcome. In this paper we investigate whether communication changes these results. Communication reduces shirking, increases aggregate effort and reduces aggregate rents, but only when communication groups and output-sharing groups are linked. The effect is stronger for fixed groups (the partners treatment) than for randomly reassigned groups (the strangers treatment). Performance is not distinguishable from the no- communication treatments when communication is permitted but subjects share output within groups different from the groups within which they communicate. Communication also tends to enhance the negative effect of the partnered group assignment on the equality of individual payoffs. We use detailed content analysis to evaluate the impact of various categories of communication messages on behaviour across treatments.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by McMaster University in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2009-15.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
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Common pool resources; Communication; Coordination; Cooperation; Free-riding Behaviour in Teams; Partners and Strangers; Experiments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
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