Coordination problems and resource collapse in the commons — Exploring the role of knowledge heterogeneity
The role of environmental uncertainty has not been ignored in the common resource literature, but underlying most of this research is an explicit or implicit assumption of symmetric uncertainty. In this paper I relax the assumption of symmetric uncertainty and analyze how knowledge heterogeneity influences coordination problems that can arise in common resource settings. This paper demonstrates that knowledge heterogeneity can work as a coordination device; the more users differ with respect to knowledge, the smaller is the coordination problem as well as the probability of resource breakdown. Less informed users can take advantage of their ignorance at the expense of more informed users. Furthermore, regulation can reduce the coordination problem further, but only by reinforcing the benefit from ignorance. Thus when analyzing and suggesting policies for reducing the inefficiencies associated with common resources where rivalry prevails, one should not only be concerned about the level of environmental uncertainty, but also the distribution, as it matters too.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:79:y:2012:i:c:p:52-59. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.