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A common-pool resource experiment with postgraduate subjects from 41 countries

  • Ahn, T.K.
  • Ostrom, Elinor
  • Walker, James

This study reports results from a new series of experiments that examine the robustness of face-to-face communication as a cooperation-facilitating institution in common-pool resource settings. Results are reported from nine experiment sessions, initially designed for pedagogical purposes. The sessions were conducted between 1998 and 2007 as part of a series of summer institutes on institutional analysis and environmental change. Subjects were graduate students and professionals from diverse disciplines, representing 41 countries of residence. The participants in this study stand in sharp contrast to most previous studies, which used undergraduates who self-select into experiments by volunteering to participate. Results from these experiments substantiate earlier findings that non-binding communication can serve as an effective mechanism for solving social dilemma problems, with subjects achieving near socially efficient outcomes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 2624-2633

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2624-2633
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Ostrom, Elinor, 2004. "What do people bring into the game: experiments in the field about cooperation in the commons," CAPRi working papers 32, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 347-370, May.
  3. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  4. Potters, J.J.M. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment - Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Other publications TiSEM 964c6542-3994-4088-a7e6-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Herr, Andrew & Gardner, Roy & Walker, James M., 1997. "An Experimental Study of Time-Independent and Time-Dependent Externalities in the Commons," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 77-96, April.
  6. Cleve Willis & John Stranlund & Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out," Artefactual Field Experiments 00028, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Jeannette Brosig & Axel Ockenfels & Joachim Weimann, 2002. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-17, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  8. Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2001. "How do groups solve local commons dilemmas? Lessons from experimental economics in the field," Artefactual Field Experiments 00018, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. John List & Steven Levitt, 2008. "Homo economicus evolves," Artefactual Field Experiments 00095, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84634 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Frohlich, Norman & Oppenheimer, Joe, 1998. "Some consequences of e-mail vs. face-to-face communication in experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 389-403, April.
  12. Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Cooper David J, 2006. "Are Experienced Managers Experts at Overcoming Coordination Failure?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-52, May.
  14. Walker, James M, et al, 2000. "Collective Choice in the Commons: Experimental Results on Proposed Allocation Rules and Votes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 212-34, January.
  15. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
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