Collective Action for Watershed Management: Field Experiments in Colombia and Kenya

44 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2010

See all articles by Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Universidad de Los Andes

Luz Angela Rodríguez

University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP), Duke University

Nancy Johnson

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: November 16, 2009

Abstract

The dilemma of collective action around water use and management involves solving both the problems of provision and appropriation. Cooperation in the provision can be affected by the rival nature of the appropriation and the asymmetries in the access. We report two field experiments conducted in Colombia and Kenya. The Irrigation Game was used to explore the provision and appropriation decisions under asymmetric or sequential appropriation, complemented with a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism experiment which looks at provision decisions under symmetric appropriation. The overall results were consistent with the patterns of previous studies: the zero contribution hypotheses is rejected whereas the most effective institution to increase cooperation was face-to-face communication, and above external regulations, although we find that communication works much more effectively in Colombia. We also find that the asymmetric appropriation did reduce cooperation, though the magnitude of the social loss and the effectiveness of alternative institutional options varied across sites.

Keywords: Collective Action, Watersheds, Field Experiments, Colombia, Kenya

JEL Classification: Q0, Q2, C9, H3, H4

Suggested Citation

Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo and Rodríguez, Luz Angela and Johnson, Nancy, Collective Action for Watershed Management: Field Experiments in Colombia and Kenya (November 16, 2009). Documento CEDE No. 2009-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1543826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1543826

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas (Contact Author)

Universidad de Los Andes ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
339-4949 ext. 2473 (Phone)

Luz Angela Rodríguez

University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP), Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Nancy Johnson

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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