Can We Think Locally, Act Globally? Understanding When Local Information Can Facilitate Global Coordination

33 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2010 Last revised: 15 Sep 2016

See all articles by Daniel P. Enemark

Daniel P. Enemark

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University

Ramamohan Paturi

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Nicholas Weller

University of California, Riverside (UCR)

Date Written: November 18, 2010

Abstract

In this paper we focus on a neglected aspect of common pool resource problems – whether or not actors in a group can find a solution to the underlying coordination issue. Using a simple networked model of coordination we demonstrate that coordination problems are very difficult to solve when there are few solutions and actors possess local information. However, if the number of solutions does not change, then increases in the number of connections in the network can make coordination more likely to occur. These results suggest connections can influence the ability to reach solutions in two different ways. First, if connections reduce the number of solutions to a problem, then coordination may be less likely. Second, if it is possible to build connections between actors without reducing the number of solutions, then these connections facilitate coordination. These insights can help shed light on how institutions may facilitate international policy coordination.

Keywords: coordination, collective action, experiments, networks

JEL Classification: C92

Suggested Citation

Enemark, Daniel P. and McCubbins, Mathew D. and Paturi, Ramamohan and Weller, Nicholas, Can We Think Locally, Act Globally? Understanding When Local Information Can Facilitate Global Coordination (November 18, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1711582

Daniel P. Enemark

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Mathew D. McCubbins

Department of Political Science and Law School, Duke University ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Ramamohan Paturi

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0502
United States

Nicholas Weller (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside (UCR) ( email )

900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521
United States

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