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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 26, 2010

Identities in the Commons: The Dynamics of Norms and Social Capital

  • Erwin Bulte and Richard D. Horan


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.

Published Online: 2010-2-26

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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