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Group interaction, heterogeneity, rules, and co-operative behaviour: Evidence from a common-pool resource experiment in South Africa and Namibia

Bernd Hayo and Björn Vollan

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2012, vol. 81, issue 1, 9-28

Abstract: We present econometric evidence of how sociodemographic characteristics, economic background, group effects, and dynamic personal and group interactions influence the co-operative behaviour of individuals in a social dilemma situation. The data are from a framed common-pool resource experiment conducted in Namibian and South African farming communities. Our estimates suggest complex but stable social dynamics within groups over the course of the game. We conclude that group interactions may be significantly influenced by the degree of sociodemographic heterogeneity. Our study shows that the introduction of rules matters, as it improves co-operation, but that the concrete shape of such rules may be less important than the underlying social interaction.

Keywords: Common-pool resource experiment; Dynamic group interaction; Relative income position; Rules; Heterogeneity; Southern Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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