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Public disclosure of players’ conduct and Common Resources Harvesting: Experimental Evidence from a Nairobi Slum

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Abstract

We evaluate the effect of information disclosure on players’ behaviour in a multiperiod common pool resource game experiment run in an area of notably scarce social capital such as the Nairobi slum of Kibera. We document divergence of average withdrawal rates across time with an increasingly lower cooperation in the non anonimous setting. We demonstrate that information induced asymmetric conformity contributes to explain what we observe, that is, players who withdraw less than the average of the group in the previous round react more negatively when individual payoffs are disclosed than when they are not, and their reaction is less than compensated by the mean reversion of those who withdrew more. Our results are consistent with the (Ostrom, 2000) hypothesis that, in absence of punishment, disclosure of information about individual (cooperative or non cooperative) behaviour makes common resource management more difficult and tragedy of the commons easier.

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  • Leonardo Becchetti & Pierluigi Conzo & Giacomo Degli Antoni, 2011. "Public disclosure of players’ conduct and Common Resources Harvesting: Experimental Evidence from a Nairobi Slum," CEIS Research Paper 200, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Jun 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:200
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    Keywords

    common pool resource game; conformism; information disclosure field experiments; tragedy of commons;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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