Ours, Not Yours: Property-Rights, Poaching and Deterrence in Common-Pool Resources

38 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2019 Last revised: 8 Mar 2021

See all articles by Lawrence R. De Geest

Lawrence R. De Geest

Suffolk University

Abdul H. Kidwai

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Department of Economics

Javier E. Portillo

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Date Written: November 9, 2019

Abstract

Governments allocate property rights in different ways to protect common-pool resources (CPR) from over-harvesting, but this can generate conflict between those with access (``insiders'') and those without (``outsiders''). We use a laboratory experiment to determine how mechanisms to allocate property rights influence the decentralized management and defense of a CPR. We use a 2x2 design that varies whether access to the CPR is earned (as opposed to being randomly assigned) and whether insiders have the ability to use punishment to deter outsiders from poaching the resource. We find that insiders who earned the property right were more likely to defend the CPR and impose significantly more deterrence, leading to a significant reduction in extreme poaching. However, lower levels of poaching often went unpunished under both earned and assigned rights. While earned property rights can improve the coordinated deterrence of outsiders, they are insufficient to completely eliminate poaching, and conflict between rights-holders and poachers.

Keywords: Poaching, conflict, sanctions, common-pool resource, property-rights

JEL Classification: Q2, H41, C92

Suggested Citation

De Geest, Lawrence R. and Kidwai, Abdul H. and Portillo, Javier, Ours, Not Yours: Property-Rights, Poaching and Deterrence in Common-Pool Resources (November 9, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3483989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3483989

Lawrence R. De Geest

Suffolk University ( email )

Boston, MA 02108
United States

Abdul H. Kidwai (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Department of Economics ( email )

1725 State Street
413 Wimberly Hall
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/ahkidwai/

Javier Portillo

University of Louisiana at Lafayette ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
59
Abstract Views
810
Rank
653,618
PlumX Metrics