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Communication and heterogeneity in a commons dilemma: an experimental approach

Wakamatsu, Mihoko and Managi, Shunsuke (2020): Communication and heterogeneity in a commons dilemma: an experimental approach.

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Heterogeneity is considered harmful for cooperation in common-pool resource extraction. In this study, we focus on the heterogeneity of users and communication, among the factors related to the success that are organized as Ostrom’s enabling conditions. We use laboratory experiments to separately identify the effect of different formats of communication in a commons dilemma with user heterogeneity. This paper modifies the standard common-pool resources (CPR) game to represent the situation where two groups of users with different utility functions are spatially linked in the CPR. An example of this situation would be an upstream community that appropriates a river’s water resource, which results in a change in the quantity or quality of the river, through pollution or extraction, to the downstream community that also utilizes the river. We will test the effect of communication in this environment.

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