The Mode of Communication as a Driver of Sustainable and Equitable Asymmetric Common Pool Resource Use

Kaisa Herne, Jonathan Kuyper, Olli Lappalainen

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Abstract

Most experimental studies on common pool resource usage focus on situations in which actors are in symmetric positions when they use the resource. Many real-world cases do not fit this scenario because users are in asymmetric positions regarding their ability to benefit from the resource. Examples range from irrigation systems to climate change mitigation. Moreover, while there is large evidence on the effects of communication on social dilemmas, few studies focus on different modes of communication. We compare the effects of unstructured and structured communication on the provision of an infrastructure for a common pool resource and appropriation of the provided resource. tructured communication applied rules that are based on the ideals of democratic deliberation. Participants made contribution and appropriation decisions in an incentivized experiment. In the experiment, both communication and deliberation increased contributions in comparison to a baseline. Interestingly, deliberation attenuated the effect of the player position more than communication. Our results suggest that deliberation may be useful for overcoming asymmetric commons dilemmas in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-202
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume72
Issue number1
Early online date2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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