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The Survival of the Conformist: Social Pressure and Renewable Resource Management

  • Alessandro Tavoni

    (Advanced School of Economics at the University of Venice)

  • Maja Schlüter

    (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries)

  • Simon Levin

    (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University)

This paper examines the role of pro-social behavior as a mechanism for the establishment and maintenance of cooperation in resource use under variable social and environmental conditions. By coupling resource stock dynamics with social dynamics concerning compliance to a social norm prescribing non-excessive resource extraction in a common pool resource (CPR), we show that when reputational considerations matter and a sufficient level of social stigma affects the violators of a norm, sustainable outcomes are achieved. We find large parameter regions where norm-observing and norm-violating types coexist, and analyze to what extent such coexistence depends on the environment.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.127.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.127
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  1. Nori Tarui & Charles Mason & Stephen Polasky & Greg Ellis, 2007. "Cooperation in the Commons with Unobservable Actions," Working Papers 200711, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Lindbeck, A, 1996. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," Papers 622, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Rand, David Gertler & Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Ellingson, Tore & Nowak, Martin A., 2009. "Positive Interactions Promote Public Cooperation," Scholarly Articles 3804483, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud & Peter Martinsson & Gianandrea Staffiero, 2005. "Ostracism and the Provision of a Public Good, Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  5. Joëlle Noailly & Cees Withagen & Jeroen Bergh, 2007. "Spatial Evolution of Social Norms in a Common-Pool Resource Game," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 113-141, January.
  6. Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  7. Oses-Eraso, Nuria & Viladrich-Grau, Montserrat, 2007. "On the sustainability of common property resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 393-410, May.
  8. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
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  10. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 1996. "The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 766-88, September.
  11. Raakjær Nielsen, Jesper & Mathiesen, Christoph, 2003. "Important factors influencing rule compliance in fisheries lessons from Denmark," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 409-416, September.
  12. Gowdy, John M., 2008. "Behavioral economics and climate change policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 632-644, December.
  13. Iwasa, Yoh & Uchida, Tomoe & Yokomizo, Hiroyuki, 2007. "Nonlinear behavior of the socio-economic dynamics for lake eutrophication control," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 219-229, June.
  14. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612, March.
  15. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. & Gowdy, John M., 2009. "A group selection perspective on economic behavior, institutions and organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-20, October.
  16. Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2005. "Regulation and Evolution of Compliance in Common Pool Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 583-599, 09.
  17. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-192946 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 2006. "A Simple Model of Collective Action," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 725-47, April.
  19. Ostrom, Elinor, 2007. "Challenges and growth: the development of the interdisciplinary field of institutional analysis," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 239-264, December.
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