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Knowledge Asymmetries and Learning in Common Pools

Therese Lindahl. 2009.


The role of environmental uncertainty has not been ignored in the common pool literature but underlying most of this research is an explicit or implicit assumption of symmetric uncertainty. I introduce asymmetric uncertainty by letting users have access to private information about the resource and di¤er with respect to informational precision. To what extent will the existence of knowledge asymmetries influence exploitation decisions and overall welfare? If actions are unobservable informational asymmetries per se do not influence behavior. However, if actions are observable the distribution of uncertainty can have drastic implications for exploitation decisions, the probability of resource collapse and consequently for overall welfare.

Keywords: Common pool resources, Asymmetric uncertainty, Knowledge spill-over

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