Cooperation in the Face of Thresholds, Risk, and Uncertainty

18 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2019

See all articles by Juan C. Rocha

Juan C. Rocha

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University; The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Caroline Schill

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

Lina Maria Saavedra Diaz

Universidad del Magdalena

Rocio del Pilar Moreno Sánchez

Independent

Jorge H Maldonado

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; LACEEP

Date Written: October 12, 2019

Abstract

Cooperation is thought to be a necessary condition to solve collective dilemmas such as climate change or the sustainable use of common-pool resources. Yet, it is poorly understood how situations pervaded by thresholds shape the behaviour of people facing collective dilemmas. Here we provide empirical evidence that resource users facing thresholds maintain on average cooperative behaviours by maximising their individual earnings while ensuring future group opportunities. A dynamic game with 256 Colombian fishers helped us investigate behavioural responses to the existence of thresholds, risk and uncertainty. Uncertain thresholds made fishers maintain higher levels of cooperation than when the risk of thresholds is known, but risk had a stronger effect on reducing individual fishing effort. If cooperation increases in the face of thresholds, then communicating uncertainty is more policy-relevant than estimating precisely where tipping points lay in social-ecological systems.

Keywords: common-pool resources, ecological dynamics, thresholds, regime shifts, field experiments, risk, uncertainty

JEL Classification: D70, D81, Q22, Q54

Suggested Citation

Rocha, Juan C. and Schill, Caroline and Saavedra Diaz, Lina Maria and Moreno Sánchez, Rocio del Pilar and Maldonado, Jorge H, Cooperation in the Face of Thresholds, Risk, and Uncertainty (October 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3468693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3468693

Juan C. Rocha (Contact Author)

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University ( email )

Kräftriket 3
Stockholm, 11419
Sweden

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 50005
Stockholm, 104 05
Sweden

Caroline Schill

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 50005
Stockholm, 104 05
Sweden

Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University ( email )

Kräftriket 2B
Stockholm, 10691
Sweden

Lina Maria Saavedra Diaz

Universidad del Magdalena

Carrera 32 No 22 − 08
Santa Marta
Colombia

Rocio del Pilar Moreno Sánchez

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Jorge H Maldonado

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

LACEEP ( email )

CATIE
Turrialba
Costa Rica

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