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Collective Action with Incomplete Commitment: Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Pamela Schmitt
  • Kurtis Swope
  • James Walker

Abstract

Face-to-face communication is investigated as an efficiency-enhancing mechanism in experimental common-pool resource environments in which the appropriation activities of outside appropriators create coordination and monitoring problems for the communicating group. We identify three distinct problems that can threaten successful collective action. Outsiders respond strategically to reductions in appropriation by cooperating group members. Members of the communicating group deviate from agreements more frequently when monitoring is imperfect and over appropriation can be blamed on outsiders. Groups that are allowed to communicate anticipate the potential problems and have difficulty reaching agreements or committing to a specific appropriation rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Schmitt & Kurtis Swope & James Walker, 2000. "Collective Action with Incomplete Commitment: Experimental Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 829-854, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:66:4:y:2000:p:829-854
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnier, Kurt Erik, 2009. "Spatial externalities and the common-pool resource mechanism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 402-415, May.
    2. Anauati, María Victoria & Feld, Brian & Galiani, Sebastian & Torrens, Gustavo, 2016. "Collective action: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 36-55.
    3. Nicolas Faysse, 2005. "Coping With The Tragedy Of The Commons: Game Structure And Design Of Rules," Post-Print cirad-01002167, HAL.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:254-276 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "The value-added of laboratory experiments for the study of institutions and common-pool resources," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 149-163, October.
    6. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2003. "Pro-social Behavior in the Global Commons: A North-South Experiment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 03-29, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    7. Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2002. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: Evidence from field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00019, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Neil Buckley & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller & Stephen Schott & Jingjing Zhang, 2017. "Do the Number of Appropriators from the Commons Matter in Controlled Laboratory Environments?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2017-09, McMaster University.
    9. Schnier, Kurt E. & Anderson, Christopher M., 2006. "Decision making in patchy resource environments: Spatial misperception of bioeconomic models," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 234-254, October.
    10. Villena, Mauricio G. & Zecchetto, Franco, 2011. "Subject-specific performance information can worsen the tragedy of the commons: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 330-347, June.
    11. Stuart Mestelman, 2000. "Environmental Policy: Lessons from the Laboratory," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 2000-01, McMaster University.
    12. 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.

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