Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas

Janssen, M. A. and Bousquet, F. and Cardenas, J-C. and et al, . (2012) Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas. Agricultural Systems, 109. pp. 65-75.

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It is often assumed that irrigation systems require a central authority to solve coordination problems due to the asymmetry in position and influence between those located at the head-end of a system and those located at the tail-end. However, many examples of complex irrigation systems exist that are selforganized without central coordination. Field experiments on asymmetric commons dilemmas are performed with villagers in rural Colombia and Thailand. Our experiments show that there is a dynamic interaction between equality in the use of the common resource, and the level of the contributions to the creation of a common resource. Inequality in the distribution of benefits in one round triggers lower levels of group contributions, reducing efficiency and triggering even more inequality in contributions and distribution of the resource among players.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0432894). We acknowledge comments on earlier version of this manuscript derived from Elinor Ostrom. Appendix A. Supplementary material Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Field experiments, Irrigation, Common pool resources, Asymmetry, Trust
Author Affiliation: Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2402, United States
Subjects: Agricultural Engineering
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 24 May 2012 11:45
Last Modified: 24 May 2012 11:46
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