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Regulaciones y normas en lo publico y lo colectivo: Exploraciones desde el laboratorio economico


  • Juan-Camilo Cardenas


The internalization of external costs arising from a group dilemma between the individual and social interests require the design of institutions through the market, the state or self-governance that are able to induce in the agents a change in their pecuniary and non-material incentives so that their choices are socially desirable. The conventional approach in the economic analysis of the enforcement of the law based mostly on the work of Becker is based on the postulate that those not complying with the law are rationally perceiving a greater benefit from doing so if compared to the expected cost of the sanction by the state, that is the value of the sanction for the law violator multiplied by the probability of detection. Through a series of economic experiments we explore this hypothesis for the case of a typical public good or resource extraction where there is a group externality, and an external regulation that is partially enforced. The results suggest that the strategic response by the agents to the different expected costs of the sanction confirm only partially the hypothesis in the sense that the differences are less than proportional to the differences to the expected costs for the regulated agents. Further, when the results here are compared to exact replications of the experiments with people in the field that face these kinds of dilemmas, the differences in individual behavior across levels of expected costs virtually vanish. It is suggested here that along with the material costs for violators, the individuals may incorporate additional elements in their cognitive process which are consistent with findings from experimental and behavioral economics studies.

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  • Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2004. "Regulaciones y normas en lo publico y lo colectivo: Exploraciones desde el laboratorio economico," Artefactual Field Experiments 00023, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00023

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    JEL classification:

    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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