Abstract

In this paper we discuss laboratory experiments that address the problem of self-governance in an asymmetric commons dilemma. Small-scale irrigation systems that provide food for hundreds of millions of people around the world are probably the most common example of such dilemmas. Here, we formulate an abstract dilemma in which subjects make both a decision about investment in the provision of infrastructure associated with the use of a resource and about how much to extract from the common-pool resource made available by this infrastructure. The impact of inherent asymmetry in irrigation systems on the provision of a resource and the impact of communication on the capacity of the group to solve the two-level commons dilemma of cooperation and coordination based on the analysis of the experimental data are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-566
Number of pages20
JournalExperimental Economics
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • Asymmetry
  • Common-pool resources
  • Fairness
  • Irrigation
  • Real-time experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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