Socio-ecological explanations for crowding-out effects from economic field experiments in southern Africa
Economic and psychological literature mentions three conditions under which the crowding-out effect of pro-social behaviour is likely to occur and to crowd out citizens' moral obligations to behave co-operatively. I use a framed field experiment on joint extraction from a common-pool resource (CPR) where the crowding-out effect has already been reported before in combination with the trust game carried out in farming communities of Namibia and South Africa to replicate these conditions. The research design and the cross-cultural setting enable to explicitly control for these effects. The results of the experiments support that the crowding-out effect depends on: - The nature of the external intervention (controlling vs. supportive external intervention) - The degree of participants self-determination (high vs. low self-determination in the group) - A society's norms of trust and reciprocity (high vs. low trust within the society) The results imply that outside regulations aiming to conserve natural resources risk worsening the situation when neglecting democratic legitimization as well as local community norms.
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