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Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 71–96 | Cite as

Public disclosure of players’ conduct and common resources harvesting: experimental evidence from a Nairobi slum

  • Leonardo BecchettiEmail author
  • Pierluigi Conzo
  • Giacomo Degli Antoni
Article

Abstract

We evaluate the effect of information disclosure (feedback on individual contributions and payoffs) on players’ behavior in a multi-period common pool resource game experiment run in an area of notably scarce social capital, such as the Nairobi slum of Kibera. We document that cooperation significantly declines over rounds when such information is revealed. Our results are consistent with the Ostrom (J Econ Perspect 14:137–158, 2000) hypothesis that, in the absence of formal punishment rules, the availability of information about individual behavior makes common resource management more difficult and tragedy of the commons easier.

JEL Classification

C93 Q20 H40 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are extremely grateful to James Andreoni, Sergio Beraldo, Tilman Brück, Jeffrey V. Butler, Alessandra Cassar, Luisa Corrado, Benedetto Gui, Luigi Guiso, Alberto Iozzi, Tullio Jappelli, Marco Pagano, Salvatore Piccolo, Fabiano Schivardi, Francesco Silva, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Daniele Terlizzese, Tommaso Valletti, Bruce Wydick, Luca Zarri, Alberto Zazzaro and all other participants in the seminars held at EIEF, CSEF, DIW, to the BELAB Conference and to the PRIN meetings for their useful comments and suggestions. We also thank Alice Cortignani and Alessandro Romeo for the invaluable research support in the field.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Becchetti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierluigi Conzo
    • 2
  • Giacomo Degli Antoni
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.University of Turin & CSEFTurinItaly
  3. 3.University of ParmaParmaItaly
  4. 4.EconomEticaMilanItaly

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