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Appropriating the Commons: A Theoretical Explanation

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Falk, Armin; Fehr, Ernst; Fischbacher, Urs
Date: 2001
Agency: Centre for Economic Policy Research, London
Series: Discussion Paper, no. 2925
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5314
Sector: Theory
Region:
Subject(s): game theory
reciprocity
experimental economics
common pool resources--models
fairness--models
monitoring and sanctioning--models
Abstract: "In this paper we show that a simple model of fairness preferences explains major experimental regularities of common pool resource (CPR) experiments. The evidence indicates that in standard CPR games without communication and without sanctioning possibilities inefficient excess appropriation is the rule. When communication or informal sanctions are available, however, appropriation behaviour is more efficient. Our analysis shows that these regularities arise naturally when a fraction of the subjects exhibits reciprocal preferences."

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