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Racing for the Water: Laboratory Evidence on Managing a Groundwater Commons

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Gardner, Roy; Moore, Michael R.; Walker, James M.
Date: 1994
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington, IN
Series: Working Paper W94-7
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5209
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region:
Subject(s): groundwater--models
water resources
game theory
Workshop
Abstract: "This paper examines strategic behavior in the context of a dynamic common-pool resource game with a unique symmetric subgame equilibrium. Solving the model for its optimal solution and its subgame perfect equilibrium provides benchmarks for behavior observed in laboratory experiments. Baseline experiments, which portray a 'rule of capture' for establishing ownership with group size equal to 10, achieve an average efficiency of 30%. Experiments that restrict entry, with group size equal to 5, increase average efficiency to 44%. Experiments applying a stock quota show more marked improvement in efficiency, averaging 54%. The stock quota experiments come closest to producing data consistent with subgame perfection."

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