PUBLICATION • Beijer Discussion Paper
The role of resource dependency for sharing increasingly scarce resources: Evidence from a behavioural experiment with small-scale fishers
In this paper we investigate to what extent resource dependency, which we here define as having few (or no) options to diversify one’s livelihood, affects how fishers, sharing a common fishing ground, respond to increasing resource scarcity. To this end we run a framed dynamic CPR experiment in Thailand with small-scale fishers, where we observe and compare behavioural responses of fishers that are presented with different scenarios (treatments), reflecting different degrees of resource scarcity (none, moderate and severe). The fishers differ with respect to resource dependency. We find that fishers that are more resource dependent respond differently to resource scarcity compared to less resource dependent fishers, but that this depends on the severity of resource scarcity. In the no resource scarcity treatment, more resource dependent fishers exploit more cautiously compared to less resource dependent fishers. Under moderate resource scarcity more resource dependent fishers exploit more aggressively compared to less resource dependent fishers. Under severe resource scarcity there is no difference in behaviour between the two types of fishers, both types exploit quite cautiously. Our findings contrast earlier empirical findings that resource dependent fishers continue to exploit, or exploit more under resource scarcity. We find that severe resource scarcity can trigger less exploitation of resource dependent fishers. We argue that the common-pool nature of the situation brings an additional dimension to the situation that can affect behaviour and overall outcomes significantly, and that may explain the result. We suggest that future work focus on teasing out the importance of these different drivers.
Lindahl. T., C. Schill and R. Jarungrattanapong. 2021. Beijer Discussion Paper 276: The role of resource dependency for sharing increasingly scarce resources: Evidence from a behavioural experiment with small-scale fishers. Beijer Discussion Paper Series.DOWNLOAD PDF