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The role of government policy and communication in social dilemmas

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Title: The role of government policy and communication in social dilemmas
Authors: Wachsman, Yoav
Advisor: Sherstyuk, Katerina
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This manuscript consists of three essays that examine agents' interaction in various social dilemmas. Social dilemmas occur when rational agents have the incentive to behave in a way that does not maximize the welfare of the group. I investigate how different factors, such as communication and government policy, can influence individuals' behavior in social dilemmas. Recently, several authors argued that consumers have social sentiments and, therefore, derive utility from making contributions. However, there is little discussion in the literature on how these sentiments develop. The first essay demonstrates that, given some basic assumptions, communities converge to an equilibrium level of social sentiments with higher private provision than predicted by traditional theory. Furthermore, government provision can increase private provision in the long run by moving the community to a new equilibrium with higher social sentiments. The second essay recognizes that agents must often choose between providing public goods through a small, local exchange or a large, global exchange. It reports a public goods experiment with a local exchange, which only benefits the contributor's local group, and a global exchange, which benefits all the participants. I find that participants contribute more tokens to the global exchange, even though it has a lower marginal payoff. Furthermore, intragroup communication (i.e., communication within each group), leads to intragroup cooperation, but hiders intergroup cooperation. The final essay looks at how government policy influences agents' behavior when the government is self-serving. It examines the case in which a coastal nation maximizes the revenue that it collects from foreign fishermen that operate in its Exclusive Economic Zone by charging them a fishing fee. I find that if the number of fishermen is exogenous, the owner is likely to select a fee that is higher than socially optimal. On the other hand, if the coastal nation can choose the number of fishermen, it does not restrict entry to the EEZ and selects a fee that maximizes net return. Alternatively, the owner can use a two-tier tariff to extract all the net return from the fishery.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-122).
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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vii, 122 leaves, bound ill 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Economics

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