Positive framing does not solve the tragedy of the commons

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 264 words

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Keywords Public goods experiment; Common pool experiment; Framing; Externality; Strategic complements; Strategic substitutes; Rivalry Abstract We investigate whether positive framing increases cooperation in three social dilemmas with slightly different properties: a linear public goods (PG) game, a non-linear PG game, and a common pool resource (CPR) game. Results from our laboratory experiments show that contributions to a linear PG are higher if the externality is framed positively, rather than negatively, corroborating earlier findings by Andreoni (1995). By contrast, we find no such framing effects in the non-linear PG game or the CPR game. In these games, the best response in the material payoffs is to contribute less if others contribute more, counteracting effects of pro-social preferences. Positive framing therefore does not help to solve the tragedy of the commons. Author Affiliation: (a) Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom (b) The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Norway (c) The Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Postboks 1095 Blindern, 0317, Oslo, Norway (d) Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Sub-Department of Economics, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW, Wageningen, the Netherlands (e) Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Norway * Corresponding author. Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Sub-Department of Economics, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW, Wageningen, the Netherlands. Article History: Received 17 December 2016; Revised 19 October 2018; Accepted 8 November 2018 Byline: Elisabeth Thuestad Isaksen [e.t.isaksen@frisch.uio.no] (a,b), Kjell Arne Brekke [k.a.brekke@econ.uio.no] (c), Andries Richter [andries.richter@wur.nl] (d,e,*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A584999188