Identities in the Commons: The Dynamics of Norms and Social Capital

E.H. Bulte, R.D. Horan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides a formal analysis of the evolution of cooperation in the management of common property resources. We develop a dynamic model that includes moral norms or a sense of 'identity,' and show that cooperation may – but need not – be an equilibrium outcome in the absence of intervention by a managing agency or punishment by peers. We demonstrate that outside intervention has ambiguous effects when identity matters – it may reduce welfare of the agents harvesting the stock.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalThe B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • property resource use
  • reduction methods
  • moral motivation
  • free access
  • cooperation
  • systems
  • evolution
  • economics
  • privatization
  • management


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