Common-Pool Resources

Key criteria for successful collaborative management of natural resources

Friday, May 29, 2020

Achieving the Sustainable Development goals is going to require plenty of collaboration – across scales, over space and among a wide variety of stakeholders. It is therefore important that we learn how to collaborate successfully. The question of what makes collaborative management or governance successful has been considered by scholars across several disciplines. However, these largely separate conversations have been taking place in sub- disciplinary clusters of literature without much overlap.

Food Security in the Face of Climate Change: Adaptive Capacity of Small-Scale Social-Ecological Systems To Environmental Variability

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Improving the adaptive capacity of small-scale irrigation systems to the impacts of climate change is crucial for food security in Asia. This study analyzes the capacity of small-scale irrigation systems dependent on the Asian monsoon to adapt to variability in river discharge caused by climate change. Our study is motivated by the Pumpa irrigation system, a small-scale irrigation system located in Nepal that is a model for this type of system.

Challenges and Opportunities in Coding the Commons: Problems, Procedures, and Potential Solutions in Large-N Comparative Case Studies.

Monday, July 13, 2015

On-going efforts to understand the dynamics of coupled social-ecological (or more broadly, coupled infrastructure) systems and common pool resources have led to the generation of numerous datasets based on a large number of case studies.

Contextualizing the Commons in a World of Interdependency: Qualitative Analysis of Quantitative Inconsistencies

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Previous statistical analyses of Elinor Ostrom's design principles have demonstrated that they have some predictive capacity to explain successful self-governance and CPR management regimes. But their implementation does not ensure success in multiple dimensions. Critiques have shown that there are important contexts and contingencies that these principles do not consider, and that other scholars working from different approaches could develop a different set of principles with similar explanatory power.

Using Agent-Based Models to Compare Behavioral Theories on Experimental Data: Application for Irrigation Games

Friday, February 20, 2015

Behavioral experiments have demonstrated that people do cooperate in commons dilemmas. The traditional theory of selfish rational behavior is clearly falsified. However, we lack agreement on alternative formal models to explain the actions seen in the lab and beyond. In this paper, we will use agent-based models to compare alternative behavioral theories on a series of experimental data of irrigation games.

The E ffect of Information in a Behavioral Irrigation Experiment

Thursday, January 1, 2015

When governing shared resources, the level and quality of information available to resource users on the actions of others and the state of the environment may have a critical effect on the performance of groups. In the work presented here, we find that lower availability of information does not affect the average performance of the group in terms of their capacity to provide public infrastructure and govern resource use, but it affects the distribution of earnings and the ability to cope with disturbances.

The Puzzle of Good Governance: Putting the Pieces Together through the Lens of Ostrom's Design Principles

Monday, November 3, 2014

Governing common pool resources in the face of disturbances such as globalization and climate change is challenging. Success stories often become non-success stories when they are transplanted from one context, with a dierent set of conditions to another. We analyzed 69 cases of irrigation systems, sheries, and forests to understand some of the factors that underlie the long-term success of common pool resource management regimes in the face of change.

Lab Experiments on Irrigation Games Under Uncertainty

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Research on collective action and common pool resources is extensive. However, little work has concentrated on the effect of uncertainty in resource availability and collective action, especially in the context of asymmetric access to resources. Earlier works have demonstrated that uncertainty often leads to a reduction of collective action in the governance of shared resources. Here we assess how uncertainty in the resource availability may impact collective action. We perform a behavioral experiment of an irrigation dilemma.

The Effect of Constrained Communication and Limited Information in Governing a Common Resource

Monday, October 7, 2013

Allowing resource users to communicate in behavioral experiments on commons dilemmas increases the level of cooperation. In actual common pool resource dilemmas in the real world, communication is costly, which is an important detail missing from most typical experiments. We conducted experiments where participants must give up harvesting opportunities to communicate. The constrained communication treatment is compared with the effect of limited information about the state of the resource and the actions of the other participants.

From Policy Instruments to Action Arenas: The Right to Self-Govern under Conditions of Social-Ecological Change in Nova Scotian Lobster Fisheries

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

To govern the commons, states often focus on structures or instruments, such as delegated co-management or tradable quotas. This research argues that this emphasis often presents a trade-off with making investments into socially just action arenas. I revisit the case of the Port Lameron groundsh and lobster fishery in Southwest Nova Scotia, Canada, originally explored by Elinor Ostrom in Governing the Commons (1990) based on research by Davis (1984).