Comparing regulations to protect the commons: an experimental investigation
We test in a laboratory experiment three regulations imposed on a common-pool resource game: an access fee and subsidy scheme, transferable quotas and non-transferable quotas. Theory predicts that they all reduce resource use from free access to the same target level without hurting users. We find that all regulations perform equally in reducing resources, although with more variance under the fee scheme. All fail to make all the users better off. The fee scheme performs better than transferable quotas in sorting out the most efficient users but at the cost of hurting them more often.
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