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What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Alejandra Vélez

    () (The Earth Institute, Columbia University)

  • John K. Stranlund

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

  • James J. Murphy

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

Abstract

This paper develops and tests several models of pure Nash strategies of individuals who extract from a common pool resource when they are motivated by a combination of self-interest and other motivations such as altruism, reciprocity, inequity aversion and conformism. We test whether an econometric summary of subjects’ strategies is consistent with one of these motivations using data from a series of common pool resource experiments conducted in three regions of Colombia. As expected, average extraction levels are less than that predicted by a model of pure self-interest, but are nevertheless sub-optimal. Moreover, we find that a model of conformism with monotonically increasing best response functions best describes average strategies. Our empirical results are inconsistent with models of altruism, reciprocity and inequity aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Alejandra Vélez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2005. "What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field," Working Papers 2005-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2005-4
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    common pool resources; experiments; altruism; reciprocity; conformism;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General

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