Spatial Evolution of Social Norms in a Common-Pool Resource Game
We study the conditions for the emergence of cooperation in a spatial common-pool resource (CPR) game. We consider three types of agents: cooperators, defectors and enforcers. The role of enforcers is to punish defectors for overharvesting the resource. Agents are located on a circle and they only observe the actions of their two nearest neighbors. Their payoffs are determined by both local and global interactions and they modify their actions by imitating the strategy in their neighborhood with the highest average payoffs on average. Using theoretical and numerical analysis, we find a large diversity of equilibria to be the outcome of the game. In particular, we find conditions for the occurrence of equilibria in which the three strategies coexist. We also derive the stability of these equilibria. Finally, we show that introducing resource dynamics in the system favors the occurrence of cooperative equilibria.
Key wordscommon property cooperation evolutionary game theory local and global interaction game self-organization
JEL classificationC72 Q2
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees, Charles Figuières, and the participants of several conferences and seminars: SURED (Ascona 2004), Workshop on Spatial Dynamic-Models of Economic and Ecosystems (Triest 2005), BIOECON (Cambridge 2005), UFSIA (Antwerp 2005) and UQAM (Montreal 2005).
- Acheson J. (1988) The Lobster Gangs of Maine. University Press of New England, HanoverGoogle Scholar
- Chichilnisky, G. (1994), `North-South Trade and the Global Environment', American Economic Review 84(4), 851–874Google Scholar
- Dasgupta P. (1993) An Inquiry into the Well-Being and Destitution. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Dasgupta P., Heal G. (1979) Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, NY, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
- Eshel I., Samuelson L., Shaked A. (1998) Altruists, Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model. American Economic Review 88:157–179Google Scholar
- McKean, M. (1992) Management of Traditional Common Lands (Iriaichi) in Japan. In: Bromley D., Feeny D. (eds) Making the Commons Work. ICS Press, San Francisco, pp 66–98Google Scholar
- Noailly, J., Van den Bergh, J. and Withagen, C. (2004), Local and Global Interactions in an Evolutionary CPR Game on a Torus, Department of Spatial Economics, Free University Amsterdam.Google Scholar
- Ostrom E. (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Ostrom E., Gardner R., Walker J. (1994) Rules, Games and Common-Pool Resources. University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
- Sethi R., Somanathan E. (1996) The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use. American Economic Review 86(4):766–789Google Scholar
- Smith, R. (2000), Institutional innovations among the Mormons: Collective Action in Irrigation. Working paper, Department of Political Science, Indiana University.Google Scholar
- van Soest, D. and Vyrastekova, J. (2004), Peer Enforcement by Selective Exclusion Working Paper, Department of Economics: Tilburg University.Google Scholar
- Taylor L. (1987) The River Would Run Red with Blood: Community and Common Property in Irish Fishing Settlement. In: McCay B. and Acheson J. (eds) The Question of the Commons: The Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources. University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, pp 290–307Google Scholar
- Young, H. P. (1998), Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions, Princeton: University PressGoogle Scholar