The Creation of Social Norms Under Weak Institutions
Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the University Program in Environmental Policy for the second presentation of their Fall 2019 seminar series. The featured speaker will be Florian Diekert, junior professor for resource and environmental economics at the University of Heidelberg.
Overcoming the tragedy of the commons remains a key challenge for the sustainable management of natural resources. In settings where state institutions are weak, resource users have to rely on voluntary cooperation. Policies that aim to facilitate cooperation in such settings often turn to social norms as solutions. In his talk, Diekert will present details of a lab-in-the-field experiment with fishers at Lake Victoria, Tanzania, to test whether the provision of varying social information leads to different social norms of cooperation. The study highlights the importance of local feedback mechanisms that increase the incentives to conform when policy makers aim to leverage social norms to support cooperative behavior.