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Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas

Author

Listed:
  • Janssen, Marco A.
  • Bousquet, François
  • Cardenas, Juan-Camilo
  • Castillo, Daniel
  • Worrapimphong, Kobchai

Abstract

It is often assumed that irrigation systems require a central authority to solve coordination problems due to the asymmetry in position and influence between those located at the head-end of a system and those located at the tail-end. However, many examples of complex irrigation systems exist that are self-organized without central coordination. Field experiments on asymmetric commons dilemmas are performed with villagers in rural Colombia and Thailand. Our experiments show that there is a dynamic interaction between equality in the use of the common resource, and the level of the contributions to the creation of a common resource. Inequality in the distribution of benefits in one round triggers lower levels of group contributions, reducing efficiency and triggering even more inequality in contributions and distribution of the resource among players.

Suggested Citation

  • Janssen, Marco A. & Bousquet, François & Cardenas, Juan-Camilo & Castillo, Daniel & Worrapimphong, Kobchai, 2012. "Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 65-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:109:y:2012:i:c:p:65-75
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2012.03.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Cameron, Lisa A, 1999. "Raising the Stakes in the Ultimatum Game: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 47-59, January.
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    8. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    9. Aggarwal, Rimjhim M. & Narayan, Tulika A., 2004. "Does inequality lead to greater efficiency in the use of local commons? The role of strategic investments in capacity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 163-182, January.
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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. Anderies, John M. & Janssen, Marco A. & Lee, Allen & Wasserman, Hannah, 2013. "Environmental variability and collective action: Experimental insights from an irrigation game," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 166-176.
    3. Kimmich, Christian & Sagebiel, Julian, 2016. "Empowering irrigation: A game-theoretic approach to electricity utilization in Indian agriculture," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(PB), pages 174-185.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Bell, Andrew & Zhang, Wei & Nou, Keosothea, 2016. "Pesticide use and cooperative management of natural enemy habitat in a framed field experiment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 1-13.
    7. Janssen, Marco A. & Bousquet, François & Cardenas, Juan-Camilo & Castillo, Daniel & Worrapimphong, Kobchai, 2013. "Breaking the elected rules in a field experiment on forestry resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 132-139.

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