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The Transmission of Sustainable Harvesting Norms When Agents Are Conditionally Cooperative

Author

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  • Andries Richter

    (Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway)

  • Johan Grasman

    (and Statistical Methods, Wageningen University, the Netherlands)

Abstract

Experimental and observational studies have highlighted the importance of agents being conditionally cooperative when facing a social dilemma. We formalize this mechanism in a theoretical model that portrays a small community having joint access to a common pool resource. The diffusion of norms of cooperation takes place via interpersonal relations, while individual agents face the temptation of higher profits by overexploiting the resource. Agents remain conditionally cooperative, unless other individuals are misbehaving already. We can observe a bubble of conditional cooperators slowly building up followed by a sudden burst, which means that a transition from a cooperative social norm to non-cooperation occurs. Interestingly, in some parameter regions alternative stable states and limit cycles arise. The latter implies that the same community goes through such a transition repeatedly over long time spans – history thus repeats itself in the form of the creation and erosion of social capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Andries Richter & Johan Grasman, 2013. "The Transmission of Sustainable Harvesting Norms When Agents Are Conditionally Cooperative," Working Papers 2013.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.80
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    3. Maria Alló & Maria L. Loureiro & Eva Iglesias, 2015. "Farmers' Preferences and Social Capital Regarding Agri‐environmental Schemes to Protect Birds," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 672-689, September.
    4. Håkon Sælen, 2016. "Side-payments: an effective instrument for building climate clubs?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 909-932, December.
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    6. Schaap, Robbert & Richter, Andries, 2019. "Overcapitalization and social norms of cooperation in a small-scale fishery," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 1-1.
    7. Joël Berger, 2021. "Social Tipping Interventions Can Promote the Diffusion or Decay of Sustainable Consumption Norms in the Field. Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Intervention Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-13, March.
    8. Karine Nyborg, 2020. "No Man is an Island: Social Coordination and the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(1), pages 177-193, May.
    9. Virgil Henry Storr & Stefanie Haeffele-Balch & Laura E. Grube, 2015. "Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster," Perspectives from Social Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-137-31489-5, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Common Pool Resource; Conditional Cooperators; Social-Ecological Complexity; Social Capital; Social Norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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