The effect of constrained communication and limited information in governing a common resource

Marcus Janssen, Allen Lee, Madeline Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Allowing resource users to communicate in behavioural experiments on commons dilemmas increases the level of cooperation. In actual common pool resource dilemmas in the real world, communication is costly, which is an important detail missing from most typical experiments. We conducted experiments where participants must give up harvesting opportunities to communicate. The constrained communication treatment is compared with the effect of limited information about the state of the resource and the actions of the other participants. We find that despite making communication costly, performance of groups improves in all treatments with communication. We also find that constraining communication has a more significant effect than limiting information on the performance of groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-635
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of the Commons
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Common pool resource
  • Conditional cooperation
  • Costly communication
  • Lab experiments
  • Limited information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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