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Tragedy of the common canal

  • Holt, Charles A.
  • Johnson, Cathleen
  • Mallow, Courtney
  • Sullivan, Sean P.

This paper uses laboratory experiments to investigate the effects of alternative solutions to a common-pool resource with a unidirectional flow. The focus is on the comparative economic efficiency of communications, bilateral “Coasian” bargaining, auctions and price-based allocations. All treatments improve allocative efficiency relative to a baseline environment. Communication and bilateral bargaining are not generally as effective as market allocations. An exogenously imposed, optimal fee results in the greatest efficiency gain, followed by auction allocations that determine the usage fee endogenously.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/20838/1/MPRA_paper_20838.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20838.

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Date of creation: 19 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20838
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Elinor Ostrom & Roy Gardner, 1993. "Coping with Asymmetries in the Commons: Self-Governing Irrigation Systems Can Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 93-112, Fall.
  3. Walker, James M. & Gardner, Roy & Ostrom, Elinor, 1990. "Rent dissipation in a limited-access common-pool resource: Experimental evidence," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-211, November.
  4. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2002. "Economic inequality and burden-sharing in the provision of local environmental quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 379-395, March.
  5. Charles A. Holt & William Shobe & Dallas Burtraw & Karen Palmer & Jacob K. Goeree, 2007. "Auction Design for Selling CO2 Emission Allowances Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Reports 2007-03, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
  6. Budescu, David V. & Au, Wing Tung & Chen, Xiao-Ping, 1997. "Effects of Protocol of Play and Social Orientation on Behavior in Sequential Resource Dilemmas," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 179-193, March.
  7. Cary Deck & Cathleen Johnson, 2004. "Link bidding in laboratory networks," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 359-372, 04.
  8. Burtraw, Dallas & Goeree, Jacob & Holt, Charles A. & Myers, Erica & Palmer, Karen & Shobe, William, 2008. "Collusion in Auctions for Emission Permits: An Experimental Analysis," Discussion Papers dp-08-36, Resources For the Future.
  9. Cleve Willis & John Stranlund & Juan-Camilo Cardenas, 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out," Artefactual Field Experiments 00028, The Field Experiments Website.
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