The Tragedy of the Masks: curbing stockpiling behavior through a 'victim'
Giuseppe Danese () and
No 2201, CEEL Working Papers from Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia
The phenomenon of household products disappearing from supermarket shelves after the COVID-19 outbreak has received strong attention in the media. After a negative shock, household products can be viewed as a common-pool resource subject to a rule of capture by the first appropriator. Using a sample of US participants, we show that when the participants are informed that a fixed supply of facial masks exists, they often coordinate on an egalitarian allocation of masks. In another study in which it is brought to the participants' attention that COVID-19 disproportionately affects the elderly population, participants 24 or younger spontaneously demand fewer masks than 65 or older participants. A group of incentivized external observers identifies a prudentially-low demand for masks as appropriate in this environment.
Keywords: COVID-19; common-pool resource; stockpiling; identified victim (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 H41 I12 Q20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-his
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