Intergroup Cooperation in Common Pool Resource Dilemmas

TitleIntergroup Cooperation in Common Pool Resource Dilemmas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSadowski, J, Spierre, S, Selinger, E, Seager, T, Adams, E, Berardy, A
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
KeywordsClimate , CLIMATIC , collective , cooperation , evolution , FISHERY , Game , management , SUSTAINABILITY , sustainable , Tragedy
AbstractFundamental problems of environmental sustainability, including climate change and fisheries management, require collective action on a scale that transcends the political and cultural boundaries of the nation-state. Rational, self-interested neoclassical economic theories of human behavior predict tragedy in the absence of third party enforcement of agreements and practical difficulties that prevent privatization. Evolutionary biology offers a theory of cooperation, but more often than not in a context of discrimination against other groups.  This paper reports the results of a non-cooperative game-theoretic exercise that models a tragedy of the commons problem in which groups of players may advance their own positions only at the expense of other groups. Students enrolled from multiple universities and assigned to different multi-university identity groups participated in experiments that repeatedly resulted in cooperative outcomes despite intergroup conflicts and expressions of group identity.  From our data and analysis, we draw out lessons that may help to inform approaches for institutional design and policy negotiations, particularly in climate change management. 
NotesSadowski, Jathan 1; Email Address: Spierre, Susan 2; Email Address: Selinger, Evan 3; Email Address: Seager, Thomas 4; Email Address: Adams, Elizabeth 4; Email Address: Berardy, Andrew 2; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University, Tempe USA 2: Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe USA 3: Philosophy and Graduate Program Faculty, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology, Henrietta USA 4: School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe USA; Source Info: Oct2015, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p1197; Subject Term: CLIMATIC changes; Subject Term: MANAGEMENT; Subject Term: SUSTAINABLE development; Subject Term: FISHERY management; Subject Term: EVOLUTION (Biology); Subject Term: GAME theory; Subject Term: COOPERATION; Author-Supplied Keyword: Climate change; Author-Supplied Keyword: Collective action; Author-Supplied Keyword: Cooperation; Author-Supplied Keyword: Sustainability; Author-Supplied Keyword: Tragedy of the commons; NAICS/Industry Codes: 112511 Finfish Farming and Fish Hatcheries; NAICS/Industry Codes: 926110 Administration of General Economic Programs; Number of Pages: 19p; Document Type: Article