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Department of Resource Economics
College of Natural Resources
and the Environment
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Pontificia Universidad logo
Departamento de Desarrollo
Rural y Regional
Facultad de Estudios Ambientales y Rurales
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota
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Economic and Policy Analysis of Local Governance
in Latin America

Fieldwork 2004

The Determinants of Behavior in the Commons: Experimental Evidence from Fishing Communities in Colombia

(For more information contact Maria Alejandra Velez at

The aims of this research were twofold. First, the research sought to develop a theoretical and empirical characterization of individual strategies in common pool resource dilemmas. Second, the research examined how alternative institutions to promote conservation of common pool resources affected individual strategies.  To pursue these objectives we developed a series of common pool resource experiments and conducted them in rural villages in three regions of Colombia (Where did we go?). 420 individuals, the majority of whom were artisanal fishermen, participated in these experiments. 

The results of this research are contained in a series of working papers by Maria Alejandra Velez, James J. Murphy, and John K. Stranlund.


"What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field." February 2006. Download paper.

"Centralized and Decentralized Management of Local Common Pool Resources in the Developing World: Experimental Evidence from Fishing Communities in Colombia." April 2006. Download paper.

"Within and Between Group Variation of Individual Strategies in Common Pool Resources: Evidence from Field Experiments. March 2006. Download paper.


© 2005 Department of Resource Economics, College of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Massachusetts Amherst.