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Social Identity and Cooperation in the Commons: Evidence and Reflections from a Field Study

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pomeroy, Caroline
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop
Location: Indiana University Bloomington
Conf. Date: June 16-18, 1994
Date: 1994
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1781
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): fisheries
common pool resources
institutional analysis--IAD framework
Abstract: "Among factors found in laboratory studies to enhance cooperation in social dilemmas is shared social identity (e.g., Brewer and Kramer 1986). In experiments simulating social dilemmas of both common pool resource (CPR) use and public goods (PG) provision, individuals have cooperated more when their identity with others in the situation is made salient. Evidently, shared social identity can lead individuals to view others' interests as similar to their own, and to consider others' well-being in their decisions regarding the use and provision of shared resources. In an empirical setting such as a common pool fishery, shared social identity would be expected to enhance cooperation in terms of both resource use and provision and maintenance of institutions for coordinating that use. Yet evidence from the laboratory of a relationship between two variables does not insure that such a relationship holds in field settings. As Feeny notes, however, experimental research provides an ideal environment to ascertain the efficacy of selected factors under controlled conditions, to then enable testing under more realistic conditions in the field."

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