Towards a Theory of Sustained Cooperation
36 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 31, 2015
The literature on "governing the commons" has profoundly influenced our understanding of collective action. However, longitudinal studies of comparable detail across time have been elusive despite the breadth of evidence documenting local institutions. Using a longitudinal dataset created by replicating a canonical study of irrigation canal governance institutions, I find that sustained cooperation over decades in the face of challenging circumstances appears to be a consequence of how fair users perceive their institutions to be.
Keywords: irrigation, sustained cooperation
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