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Toward a delineation of the circumstances in which cooperation can be sustained in environmental and resource problems

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  • van Soest, Daan
  • Stoop, Jan
  • Vyrastekova, Jana

Abstract

Play in standard laboratory Public Good games suggests that on average, humans are quite prone to cooperate. Yet cooperation is often absent in real world social dilemmas, including many environmental problems. We propose that this discrepancy arises because in the Public Good game, the worst freeriders can do is to not contribute to the public account, while in many real world environmental situations freeriders can even appropriate contributions made by others before the public good is produced. We introduce the Claim Game that modifies the Public Good game by allowing for appropriating the contributions of others before the public good is produced. The impact of such possible takings on public good production is dramatic. No public good is produced, not even in the initial stages of interaction. We link our findings to the relevance of common pool games for modeling environmental problems, and stress the need to experimentally test environmental institutions within harsher social dilemmas than the standard Public Good game.

Suggested Citation

  • van Soest, Daan & Stoop, Jan & Vyrastekova, Jana, 2016. "Toward a delineation of the circumstances in which cooperation can be sustained in environmental and resource problems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 1-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:77:y:2016:i:c:p:1-13 DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2015.12.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Yue-Jun & Jin, Yan-Lin & Chevallier, Julien & Shen, Bo, 2016. "The effect of corruption on carbon dioxide emissions in APEC countries: A panel quantile regression analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 220-227.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social dilemma; Public Good game; Common pool resource game; Laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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