Common Property Resource Game

Session Summary: 18.08.2011 – 2pm

Facilitated by Raj Puri

Group assignment by Tigers (Nickson Otieno, Nigora Safarova, Riin Magnus). Written by Riin Magnus.

The common property resource game aimed to demonstrate how community members could behave when exploiting a shared source of income. In this game, we had to imagine ourselves as fishermen sharing a common pool resource of fish with other fishermen belonging to the same community. We were divided into three groups, each of which corresponded to one community. The game consisted of six rounds; in each of them we had to decide how much to fish in the subsequent season in order to gain maximum benefits. The costs of fishing thereby depended on how much the other members of the same community fish.

In the first two rounds, we did not know what the other members of the community were doing which made it hard to estimate how much one should fish in order to keep costs low. In the following rounds, we started to cooperate with other members of the community to decide how much each of us would take. After the third round, we figured out the catch optimum for each participant.

After the game, we discussed the effects of free-riding on the community and came to the conclusion that there are always social mechanisms that obstruct the economic free-riding of individuals on a shared resource. Raj Puri also introduced the basics of cooperative and non-cooperative game theory.



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