This project will use the tools of experimental economics to study behavioral issues related to both the protection of a common-pool resource from poaching by outsiders, and the enforcement of rules and norms to maintain compliance within a group. The experiments are motivated by the Chilean abalone (loco) fishery and will be conducted in the field with members of local artisanal fishing organizations. We will examine how the ability of a group to manage their resource efficiently is affected by their ability to monitor and deter encroachment, the value of the resource, and the government’s role in enforcing common pool resource (CPR) boundaries. In addition, we will collect socio-economic data about the experiment participants, data about the fishing organization to which they belong, as well as data about the resource that they exploit to explore whether their real-life experiences helps explain their ability to conserve and defend their resource in the experiments. The project will fill an important gap in our scientific understanding of the self-governance of common pool resources.
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