Experiments on common property management

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Common property resources are (renewable) natural resources where current excessive extraction reduces future resource availability, and the use of which is de facto restricted to a specific set of agents, such as inhabitants of a village or members of a community; think of community-owned forests, coastal fisheries, or water reserves used for irrigation purposes. Standard economic theory predicts that the shared use of a renewable natural resource results in the resource being overexploited. In the real world, some commonly owned resources are indeed severely degraded, but others are not. Identifying why community resource management is successful in some instances but not in others is difficult because of the many confounding mechanisms that are present in the real world. Therefore, economists use economic experiments to pretest the effectiveness of various institutions in sustaining cooperation in resource use such as punishments, rewards, and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
EditorsJ.F. Shogren
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages1056
ISBN (Print)9780080964522
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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