Ostracism and Common Pool Resource Management in a Developing Country: Young Fishers in the Laboratory

21 September 2012
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: C92, D72, Q22

This paper investigates how the possibility to ostracise, which is a familiar punishment mechanism to subjects in an experiment, affects harvest in a common pool resource experiment. The experiment was framed as a fishing problem and the subjects were young fishers in Ghana. We find that the introduction of the possibility to ostracise other members of a group at a cost to the remaining members of a group decreased over-fishing significantly in comparison with the situation where ostracism was not possible. The ostracism was based on at least 50 percent voting rule. Moreover, the subjects demonstrated a strong desire to ostracise those who overfished.

Series title: Working Paper 130
1 June 2009
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