Gehrig, Stefan, Schlüter, Achim and Hammerstein, Peter (2019) Sociocultural heterogeneity in a common pool resource dilemma. PLOS ONE, 14 (1). e0210561. DOI

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Collective action of resource users is essential for sustainability. Yet, often user groups are socioculturally heterogeneous, which requires cooperation to be established across salient group boundaries. We explore the effect of this type of heterogeneity on resource extraction in lab-in-the-field Common Pool Resource (CPR) experiments in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We create heterogeneous groups by mixing fishers from two neighbouring fishing villages which have distinct social identities, a history of conflict and diverging resource use practices and institutions. Additionally, we analyse between-village differences in extraction behaviour in the heterogeneous setting to assess if out-group cooperation in a CPR dilemma is associated with a community’s institutional scope in the economic realm (e.g., degree of market integration). We find no aggregate effect of heterogeneity on extraction. However, this is because fishers from the two villages behave differently in the heterogeneity treatment. We find support for the hypothesis that cooperation under sociocultural heterogeneity is higher for fishers from the village with larger institutional scope. In line with this explanation, cooperation under heterogeneity also correlates with a survey measure of individual fishers’ radius of trust. We discuss implications for resource governance and collective action research.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Institutional and Behavioural Economics
Affiliations > Not ZMT
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 11:46
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:58

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