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Resource scarcity and antisocial behavior

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  • Prediger, Sebastian
  • Vollan, Björn
  • Herrmann, Benedikt

Abstract

This paper examines whether exposure to persistent resource scarcity on the commons affects pastoralists' readiness to engage in antisocial behavior towards their fellow commons users. The region under study is divided into two areas according to exogenous variations in biomass production stemming from geological peculiarities. We conducted a joy-of-destruction game with pastoralists from both areas and provide evidence for a positive relationship between antisocial behavior and long-term exposure to scarcity. Antisocial behavior among villagers occurs twice as often in an area where resources are scarcer and competitive pressure is higher. Our results remain robust to the inclusion of various controls, including beliefs, socio-demographics, absolute and relative income, and within-group inequality. If one interprets decreasing another participant's payoff below one's own as a tendency towards conflict behavior, our results suggest a higher risk of conflict among resource users in areas of greater scarcity.

Suggested Citation

  • Prediger, Sebastian & Vollan, Björn & Herrmann, Benedikt, 2014. "Resource scarcity and antisocial behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:119:y:2014:i:c:p:1-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.07.007
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    1. Kenta Tanaka & Keisaku Higashida & Arvin Vista & Anton Setyo Nugroho & Budi Muhamad Ruslan, 2016. "Do resource depletion experiences affect social cooperative preferences? Analysis using field experimental data on fishers in the Philippines and Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 143, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2016.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Brice Corgnet & Antonio M. Espín & Roberto Hernán-González, 2015. "The cognitive basis of social behavior: cognitive reflection overrides antisocial but not always prosocial motives," Working Papers 15-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Yoshinori Nakagawa & Koji Kotani & Mika Matsumoto & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2017. "Intergenerational retrospective viewpoints and individual prefe ences of policies for future: A deliberative experiment for forest management," Working Papers SDES-2017-24, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Nov 2017.
    5. Gatiso, Tsegaye T. & Vollan, Björn & Nuppenau, Ernst-August, 2015. "Resource scarcity and democratic elections in commons dilemmas: An experiment on forest use in Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 199-207.
    6. Daske, Thomas, 2016. "Pooling hawks and doves: Interim-efficient labor contracts for other-regarding agents," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145951, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Yang, Guanzhong, 2017. "The impact of incentives on prosocial behavior: An experimental investigation with German and Chinese subjects," Working Papers on East Asian Studies 113/2017, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST.
    8. Voors, Maarten & Demont, Matty & Bulte, Erwin, 2016. "New Experiments in Agriculture," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), March.
    9. Fehr, Dietmar, 2015. "Is increasing inequality harmful? Experimental evidence," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2015-209, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    10. 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.
    11. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Quaas, Martin F., 2016. "Truth-telling and the regulator: Evidence from a field experiment with commercial fishermen," Kiel Working Papers 2063, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:123-134 is not listed on IDEAS

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