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Can Incomplete Information Lead to Under-exploitation in the Commons

  • Ana Espinola-Arredondo
  • Felix Munoz-Garcia

    ()

    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

This paper analyzes the protection of a common pool resource (CPR) through the manage- ment of information. Speci?cally, we examine an entry deterrence model between an incumbent perfectly informed about the initial stock of a CPR and an uninformed potential entrant. In our model, the appropriation of the CPR by the incumbent reduces both players?future pro?ts from exploiting the resource. In the case of complete information, we show that the incumbent operating in a high-stock common pool overexploits the CPR during the ?rst period since it does not internalize the negative external e¤ect that its ?rst-period exploitation imposes on the en- trant?s future pro?ts. This ine¢ ciency, however, is absent when the common totally regenerates across periods. Under incomplete information, we identify an additional form of ine¢ ciency. In particular, the incumbent operating in a low-stock CPR underexploits the resource in order to signal the low available stock to potential entrants, deterring entry. When the common fully regenerates, we show that such underexploitation becomes more signi?cant since the low-stock incumbent aims to protect its larger monopoly pro?ts.

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File URL: http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/Munoz/WP-2010-04.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University in its series Working Papers with number 2010-04.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:munoz-6
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  1. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
  2. Dutta, Prajit K & Sundaram, Rangarajan K, 1993. "The Tragedy of the Commons?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 413-26, July.
  3. Charles F. Manson & Stephen Polasky, 1993. "Entry Deterrence In The Commons," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 209, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  5. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  6. Nicolas Faysse, 2005. "Coping with the Tragedy of the Commons: Game Structure and Design of Rules," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 239-261, 04.
  7. Steven A. Matthews & Leonard J. Mirman, 1981. "Equilibrium Limit Pricing: The Effects of Private Information and Stochastic Demand," Discussion Papers 494, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Bagwell, Kyle & Ramey, Garey, 1990. "Advertising and pricing to deter or accommodate entry when demand is unknown," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 93-113.
  9. Apesteguia, Jose, 2006. "Does information matter in the commons?: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 55-69, May.
  10. Gilbert, Richard & Vives, Xavier, 1986. "Entry Deterrence and the Free Rider Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 71-83, January.
  11. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Stokey, Nancy L, 1985. "Oligopoly Extraction of a Common Property Natural Resource: The Importance of the Period of Commitment in Dynamic Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 161-73, February.
  12. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  13. Polasky, Stephen & Bin, Okmyung, 2001. "Entry Deterrence and Signaling in a Nonrenewable Resource Model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 235-256, November.
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