Leveling the Playing Field - The Effects of Institutional Controls on Common Pool Resource Extraction
Henry Travers, Tom Clements, Aidan Keane, E.J. Milner-Gulland
In this study a simple behavioral game was used to measure the response of groups of Cambodian farmers to a range of different policy interventions in a CPR dilemma, including enforcement, provision of individual and communal incentives, and opportunities for collective action. The farmers were put into groups made up of other residents of their village. Each individual within the group was able to extract from shared resource up to their entitlement with the payoffs for the game structured so that the group optimum was reached if all subjects chose not to extract from the CPR. Individual optimums were reached if a subject chose to extract all of their entitlement. Various penalties and bonus payments were employed to mimic the different policy interventions considered. The game was implemented over a relatively short time period, and provided valuable evidence as to possible responses of individuals to the range of policy interventions.

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