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This paper provides a formal analysis of the evolution of cooperation in the management of common property resources. We develop a dynamic model that includes moral norms or a sense of 'identity,' and show that cooperation may but need not be an equilibrium outcome in the absence of intervention by a managing agency or punishment by peers. We demonstrate that outside intervention has ambiguous effects when identity matters it may reduce welfare of the agents harvesting the stock.
Keywords: internalization of moral norms; changing preferences; social capital; regulating common pools
Published Online: 2010-2-26
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