Cooperation in the commons

Stephen Polasky, Nori Tarui, Gregory M. Ellis, Charles F. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This paper delineates circumstances in which a first-best cooperative solution can be supported as a subgame perfect equilibrium in a dynamic common property renewable resource game. In a game with nonlinear resource stock effects on cost, we characterize a worst perfect equilibrium that supports cooperation for the widest range of parameter values for the discount rate, resource growth rate, harvest price, and the number of resource exploiters. The strategy profile that we propose is consistent with human behavior observed in experiments and common property resource case studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Common property resource
  • Cooperation
  • Dynamic game


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