On Local Cooperation for the Care of Forests

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"This paper presents an analysis of community management of forest resources, using a social custom model of individual behavior. Agents are sensitive to the reputation which follows from observing social rules and suffer when they violate the norm. Cooperation may arise out of this process of interdependent decision-making. In particular, it is shown that partial cooperation may be a stable outcome of agents are heterogenous. Superior cooperative outcomes may exist at the same time as less efficient modes of forest use with no (or less) cooperation. Sustaining cooperation may be more feasible in certain communities than in others. Attention is paid to the impact of shocks, which may shift a community from an exploitative mode of use to a more conservationist mode. An alteration of property rights, from State ownership to common property, may be one such shock mechanism. Some tentative thoughts are put forward on the evolution of norms and norm-based behavior."



IASC, forest management, common pool resources, cooperation