The evolution of social norms for common pool resource harvesting

Friday seminar by Andries Richter.



Many case studies indicate that social norms play a key role in explaining why certain local communities are capable of managing renewable natural resources in a sustainable and profitable way. We explore a model in which agents harvest a common resource and take the monetary incentives of resource exploitation into account, but also the corresponding social consequences. Agents’ appreciation for modest agents, and disapproval of greedy agents evolve over time. Adaptive dynamics techniques will be used to analyze these evolutionary pressures that operate at different time scales. While the appropriate exploitation level is revised frequently, the social trait changes much more slowly. When feedbacks from the resource are sufficiently strong, the evolved norm will guide behavior towards socially optimal exploitation. A noisy environment, however, can lead to a sudden collapse of the norm or may prevent it from evolving in the first place.

Andries Richter
Biometris, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Methods
Wageningen University
The Netherlands


Other information
The CEES seminar room has a coffee-machine – it is therefore recommended that you come a bit earlier and get yourself a good cup of coffee (for the price of 3 NOK).

Published Feb. 6, 2012 2:18 PM