Ecological Research

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 3–7 | Cite as

Spatial dynamics, social norms, and the opportunity of the commons

Forum Ecology and Economics

Abstract

The most important message of Levin (Ecol Res 21:328–333, 2006) is that “Ecologists and economists have much incentive for interaction.” Recent studies that account for evolutionary processes and local interactions support this view by obtaining results that run counter to conventional wisdom within resource economics. A second major message of the article is that to meet environmental challenges, humanity must develop social norms that enhance cooperative responses. Successful examples of resource management systems back up norms with economic incentives: rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad. Economic incentives are especially important if rapid and large changes in human behavior are desired.

Keywords

Cooperative resource management Economic incentives Social norms Spatial dynamics Tragedy of the commons 

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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific StudiesUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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