Computational Economics

, 33:155 | Cite as

Local and Global Interactions in an Evolutionary Resource Game

  • Joëlle Noailly
  • Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh
  • Cees A. Withagen


Conditions for the emergence of cooperation in a spatial common-pool resource game are studied. This combines in a unique way local and global interactions. A fixed number of harvesters are located on a spatial grid. Harvesters choose among three strategies: defection, cooperation, and enforcement. Individual payoffs are affected by both global factors, namely, aggregate harvest and resource stock level, and local factors, such as the imposition of sanctions on neighbors by enforcers. The evolution of strategies in the population is driven by social learning through imitation, based on local interaction or locally available information. Numerous types of equilibria exist in these settings. An important new finding is that clusters of cooperators and enforcers can survive among large groups of defectors. We discuss how the results contrast with the non-spatial, but otherwise similar, game of Sethi and Somanathan (American Economic Review 86(4):766–789, 1996).


Common property Cooperation Evolutionary game theory Global interactions Local interactions Social norms 

JEL Classification

C72 Q2 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joëlle Noailly
    • 1
  • Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Cees A. Withagen
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy AnalysisThe HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental StudiesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Institute for Environmental Science and Technology and Department of Economics and Economic HistoryAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.ICREABarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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