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Collective action for watershed management: field experiments in Colombia and Kenya

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  • CARDENAS, JUAN CAMILO
  • RODRIGUEZ, LUZ ANGELA
  • JOHNSON, NANCY

Abstract

The collective action problem around water use and management involves solving both the problems of provision and appropriation. Cooperation in the provision can be affected by the rival nature of appropriation and the asymmetries in access. We report the results of two field experiments conducted in Colombia and Kenya. The irrigation game was used to explore the provision and appropriation decisions under asymmetric or sequential appropriation, complemented by a voluntary contribution mechanism experiment which looks at provision decisions under symmetric appropriation. The overall results were consistent with the patterns of previous studies: the zero contribution hypotheses is rejected whereas the most effective institution to increase cooperation was face-to-face communication, although we find that communication works much more effectively in Colombia than in Kenya. We also find that the asymmetric appropriation did reduce cooperation, though the magnitude of the social loss and the effectiveness of alternative institutional options varied across sites.

Suggested Citation

  • Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Rodriguez, Luz Angela & Johnson, Nancy, 2011. "Collective action for watershed management: field experiments in Colombia and Kenya," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(03), pages 275-303, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:16:y:2011:i:03:p:275-303_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    2. Elinor Ostrom & Roy Gardner, 1993. "Coping with Asymmetries in the Commons: Self-Governing Irrigation Systems Can Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 93-112, Fall.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:feb:artefa:00031 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo & Ostrom, Elinor, 2004. "What do people bring into the game? Experiments in the field about cooperation in the commons," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 307-326, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Esther Blanco & Maria Claudia Lopez & James M. Walker, 2016. "The Opportunity Costs of Conservation with Deterministic and Probabilistic Degradation Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(2), pages 255-273, June.
    2. repec:col:000411:016071 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kenrick W. Williams & Hsing-Sheng Tai, 2016. "A Multi-Tier Social-Ecological System Analysis of Protected Areas Co-Management in Belize," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-23, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Luz Angela Rodríguez & Nancy Johnson, 2014. "Vertical Collective Action: Addressing Vertical Asymmetries in Watershed Management," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012608, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. repec:eee:resene:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:91-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Willy, Daniel Kyalo & Kuhn, Arnim & Müller, Karin Holm, 2016. "Analysis of participation in collective action initiatives for addressing unilateral agri-environmental externalities," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249268, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    8. 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.
    9. Midler, Estelle & Pascual, Unai & Drucker, Adam G. & Narloch, Ulf & Soto, José Luis, 2015. "Unraveling the effects of payments for ecosystem services on motivations for collective action," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 394-405.
    10. Blanco, Esther & Lopez, Maria Claudia & Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio, 2015. "Exogenous degradation in the commons: Field experimental evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 430-439.
    11. Pfaff, Alexander & Vélez, Maria Alejandra & Ramos, Pablo Andres & Molina, Adriana, 2015. "Framed field experiment on resource scarcity & extraction: Path-dependent generosity within sequential water appropriation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 416-429.
    12. D’Exelle, Ben & Lecoutere, Els & Van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2012. "Equity-Efficiency Trade-Offs in Irrigation Water Sharing: Evidence from a Field Lab in Rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2537-2551.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:104:d:62745 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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