Does Scarcity Exacerbate the Tragedy of the Commons? Evidence from Fishers´ Experimental Responses
Economic Experimental Games (EEGs), focused to analyze dilemmas associated with the use of common pool resources, have shown that individuals make extraction decisions that deviate from the suboptimal Nash equilibrium. However, few studies have analyzed whether these deviations towards the social optimum are affected as the stock of resource changes. Performing EEG with local fishermen, we test the hypothesis that the behavior of participants differs under a situation of abundance versus one of scarcity. Our findings show that under a situation of scarcity, players over-extract agiven resource, and thus make decisions above the Nash equilibrium; in doing so, they obtain less profit, mine the others-regarding interest, and exacerbate the tragedy of the commons. This result challenges previous findings from the EEG literature. Whenindividuals face abundance of a given resource, however, they deviate downward from the prediction of individualistic behavior. The phenomenon of private, inefficient overexploitation is corrected when management strategies are introduced into the game, something that underlines the importance of institutions.
|Date of creation:||06 Nov 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pauly, D., 1990. "On Malthusian overfishing," Naga, The WorldFish Center, vol. 13(1), pages 3-4.
- Gillet, Joris & Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2009. "The tragedy of the commons revisited: The importance of group decision-making," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 785-797, June.
- Keser, Claudia, 1996. "Voluntary contributions to a public good when partial contribution is a dominant strategy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 359-366, March.
- Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2004.
"Norms from outside and from inside: an experimental analysis on the governance of local ecosystems,"
Forest Policy and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 6(3-4), pages 229-241, June.
- Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2004. "Norms from outside and from inside: An experimental analysis on the governance of local ecosystems," Artefactual Field Experiments 00025, The Field Experiments Website.
- Herr, Andrew & Gardner, Roy & Walker, James M., 1997. "An Experimental Study of Time-Independent and Time-Dependent Externalities in the Commons," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 77-96, April.
- van Dijk, Frans & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Dynamics of social ties and local public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 323-341, June.
- Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2002.
"Economic inequality and burden-sharing in the provision of local environmental quality,"
Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 379-395, March.
- Cleve Willis & John Stranlund & Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2002. "Economic inequality and burden-sharing in the provision of local environmental quality," Artefactual Field Experiments 00030, The Field Experiments Website.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000089:006006. 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: (Universidad De Los Andes-Cede)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.