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Pro-social Behavior in the Global Commons: A North-South Experiment

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Jeffrey Carpenter

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Abstract

Differences in group affiliation may affect the level of cooperation in global commons situations such as programs for the conservation of resources which generate benefits that transcend state boundaries. We design a real-time, cross-cultural common pool resource (CPR) experiment purposely using participants from cultures that derive different benefits from biodiversity (extraction versus conservation) to analyze the effect of group affiliation on cooperative behavior. In addition, we elicit real donations to local and international conservation funds to augment our CPR results. In the CPR environment, we find evidence that group affiliation affects hehavior such that heterogeneity contributes to over-extraction in the commons. In the donation stage, we show that nationality affects the distribution of donated earnings between the local and global funds. We also examine the possibility that altruistic preferences to donate to a conservation fund are endogenous, in that they reflect the level of cooperation in the CPR game.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2003. "Pro-social Behavior in the Global Commons: A North-South Experiment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 03-29, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:03-29
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0329.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
    4. Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2005. "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 165-171, April.
    5. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
    6. Pamela Schmitt & Kurtis Swope & James Walker, 2000. "Collective Action with Incomplete Commitment: Experimental Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 829-854, April.
    7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
    8. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    common pool resource; group affiliation; cooperation; cross-culture; dicator game; endogenous preferences; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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