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Preferences for government enforcement of a common pool harvest quota: Theory and experimental evidence from fishing communities in Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Alejandra Velez

    () (School of Management, Universidad de los Andes)

  • John K. Stranlund

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • James J. Murphy

    () (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

Abstract

We examine individual harvesters’ preferences for government enforcement of a quota imposed on the exploitation of a common pool resource. We develop a model of Nash behavior by identical risk neutral harvesters to explain individual equilibrium preferences for enforcement of an efficient harvest quota. If the quota is not enforced well, we demonstrate that individual harvesters will always prefer increased enforcement—either increased monitoring or increased penalties—of the quota. We conduct a test of this theoretical result with data from framed common pool resource experiments conducted in artisanal fishing communities in three regions of Colombia. Subjects were given the opportunity to express their preferences for enforcement by voting on two levels of enforcement of a harvest quota, with and without communication. The two enforcement strategies involved the same probability that the government would audit individual harvesters, but differed in the level of the penalty for noncompliance. Contrary to theory, individuals voted for the lower inefficient penalty about 80% of the time and groups implemented this weaker enforcement strategy over 90% of the time. Giving subjects the opportunity to vote on the enforcement strategy did not lead to more efficient harvests, nor did allowing subjects to communicate before voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Alejandra Velez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2012. "Preferences for government enforcement of a common pool harvest quota: Theory and experimental evidence from fishing communities in Colombia," Working Papers 2012-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ala:wpaper:2012-02
    as

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    File URL: http://www.econpapers.uaa.alaska.edu/RePEC/ala/wpaper/ALA201202.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Torres-Guevara, Luz Elba & Schlüter, Achim, 2016. "External validity of artefactual field experiments: A study on cooperation, impatience and sustainability in an artisanal fishery in Colombia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 187-201.
    3. Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio, 2014. "Cooperation in common property regimes under extreme drought conditions: Empirical evidence from the use of pooled transferable quotas in Spanish irrigation systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 482-493.
    4. Sundström, Aksel, 2016. "Corruption and Violations of Conservation Rules: A Survey Experiment with Resource Users," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 73-83.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    common pool resources; field experiments; institutions; communication; regulation; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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