Analysis of Material, Social, and Moral Governance in Natural Resource Management in Southern Namibia

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"In southern Namibia ineffective enforcement contributes to natural resource degradation. We analyse the root causes of ineffective enforcement applying diverse methods. In the first step we develop a conceptual framework distinguishing between moral, social, and material enforcement. In the second step we analyse water and rangeland management regulations through the filter of our conceptual framework. In the third step we conduct economic experiments in order to gain additional insights into the characteristics of selected elements of the framework. We observe that social enforcement has the strongest impact on encouraging cooperative behaviour. Water governance in our cases makes more direct use of social enforcement, which is one factor contributing to its relative success compared to rangeland governance. We draw the general conclusion that existing moral and social norms should be considered as starting points for the establishment of formal rules because norms are more costly to establish but cheaper to apply."
common pool resources, experimental economics, enforcement, institutional analysis