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Decentralized management of common property resources: experiments with a centuries-old institution

Casari, Marco and Plott, Charles R. (2003) Decentralized management of common property resources: experiments with a centuries-old institution. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 51 (2). pp. 217-247. ISSN 0167-2681. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140220-142022749

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Abstract

For centuries, villages in the Alps employed a special system for managing their common properties. Individual users could inspect other users at their own cost and impose a predetermined sanction (a fine) when a free rider was discovered. The fine was paid to the user who found a violator. Experiments with the institutions demonstrate that this mechanism considerably improves efficiency of resource use. The classical model of identical selfish agents does not capture the data as well as a model with heterogeneous and linear other-regarding preferences. Altruism and especially potentially dysfunctional behavior, such as spite and mistake, play important positive roles.


Item Type:Article
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-2681(02)00098-7 DOIArticle
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268102000987PublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. Received 16 October 2000; accepted 17 October 2001. The financial support of the National Science Foundation and the Laboratory of Experimental Economics and Political Science is gratefully acknowledged. We are also deeply appreciative of the collaboration of Stephen Van Hooser who developed the software program and helped extensively with the experiments. Many thanks to Giangiacomo Bravo, Anthony Kwasnica, David Messick, Robert Moir, William Morrison, Alvaro Gonzalez Staffa, Leslie Title, James Walker, Roberto Weber and an anonymous referee for their suggestions. This paper has benefited from comments from participants at the ESA meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, University of Trento, Italy, and IASCP conference at Indiana University, Bloomington, University of Pittsburgh and CERGE-EI in Prague.
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Caltech Laboratory of Experimental Economics and Political ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: experiments, common dilemmas, environment
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:JEL: C70, C91, Q2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140220-142022749
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140220-142022749
Official Citation:Marco Casari, Charles R. Plott, Decentralized management of common property resources: experiments with a centuries-old institution, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 51, Issue 2, June 2003, Pages 217-247, ISSN 0167-2681, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-2681(02)00098-7. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268102000987)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43913
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:20 Feb 2014 23:01
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:12

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