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Ostracism and Common Pool Resource Management in a Developing Country: Young Fishers in the Laboratory

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  • Wisdom Akpalu
  • Peter Martin

Abstract

This paper investigates how the possibility to ostracise, which is a familiar punishment mechanism to subjects in an experiment, affects harvest in a common pool resource experiment. The experiment was framed as a fishing problem and the subjects were young fishers in Ghana. We find that the introduction of the possibility to ostracise other members of a group at a cost to the remaining members of a group decreased over-fishing significantly in comparison with the situation where ostracism was not possible. The ostracism was based on at least 50 percent voting rule. Moreover, the subjects demonstrated a strong desire to ostracise those who overfished.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 130.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:130

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Keywords: Common Pool Resource; Experiment; Ostracism; Fishers;

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