Mobile Common Pool Resources: Theory and Experiment on Resource-user Behavior

Last registered on November 08, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Mobile Common Pool Resources: Theory and Experiment on Resource-user Behavior
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009227
Initial registration date
November 05, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 08, 2022, 4:00 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
INRAE

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAe, Institut Agro
PI Affiliation
CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAe, Institut Agro
PI Affiliation
CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAe, Institut Agro
PI Affiliation
CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAe, Institut Agro

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-11-01
End date
2023-03-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Common-pool resources (CPR) such as fish stocks, hunt and aquifers are not necessarily spatially restricted to one country or management area. In many cases the resource is mobile and can freely move between areas. As a consequence the extraction of a resource in one area can affect the abundance of the resource in other areas. This spatial externality can cause inefficient management and create tensions over use rights, in particular when centralized management is not feasible and several owners manage the resource unilaterally. Here we outline a theory informed lab experiment, with the aim of improving our understanding of the behaviors and biases of decision makers in these mobile common pool resource dilemmas (Mobile-CPR).

In this project we have two general research questions. First, to what extent does extraction behavior in the lab differ from the derived theoretical predictions, and second, what mechanisms cause these potential differences. More specifically we aim to disentangle the role of other-regarding behavior, the spatial strategic interaction and confusion on the extraction levels of decision makers and their divergence from the equilibrium strategies.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Beaud, Mickael et al. 2022. "Mobile Common Pool Resources: Theory and Experiment on Resource-user Behavior." AEA RCT Registry. November 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9227-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The experiment features 3 treatments:

1: Two participants are matched. Both players are active and choose their levels of escapement in each period.

2: Two participants are matched. The active player chooses their level of escapement in each period. The passive player has an exogenously imposed fixed level of escapement.

3: One participant is matched with a computer. The active player is the participant, who chooses their level of escapement in each period. The passive player is the computer and has exogenously imposed fixed level of escapement.
Intervention Start Date
2022-11-01
Intervention End Date
2023-03-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The level of escapement chosen by participants.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Each period participants choose a level of escapement, this level is the residual between the current level of resource abundance and the number of units that are harvested.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Deviation from subgame-perfect nash equilibrium.
2. Deviation from socially efficient benchmark.
3. Initial period with a positive harvest.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
In the theory section of the paper we identify the escapement paths for agents that wish to maximize either, their instantaneous payoffs every period (myopic), the discounted present value of their payoffs over the entire time horizon (foresighted) or the net present value of payoff for all agents over the entire time horizon (efficient). Aside from comparing average chosen escapement we will look into the deviation from the three identified paths.

The equilibrium paths can differ in which period harvest is positive for the first time. For example, under certain conditions a participant playing the foresighted strategy might start harvesting in period 1, whilst a player following the efficient strategy might start harvesting in period 2. As an additional test we compare between the treatments, the average first period in which agents had a positive harvest.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants play a mobile common pool resource game. In this game a resource stock is distributed over 2 patches. Each patch is managed by either a human or a computer player, this depends on the treatment. The participants are assigned to one of the patches and have to manage the patch for a game lasting 4 periods. In each period the participant chooses a level of escapement for their patch. The resource stock is dynamic and grows between periods.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Done by computer
Randomization Unit
The treatment is assigned on the experimental session level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 pairs of laboratory participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
240 laboratory participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
40 pairs of laboratory participants per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
CEE-M’s Internal Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2022-09-06
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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