Since Garrett Hardin published The Tragedy of the Commons in 1968, critics have argued that population growth and capitalism contribute to overuse of natural resources and degradation of the global environment. They propose coercive, state-centric solutions. This book offers an alternative view. Employing insights from new institutional economics, the authors argue that property rights, competitive markets, polycentric political institutions, and social institutions such as trust, patience and individualism enable society to conserve natural resources and mitigate harms to the global environment.
Laboratory and field experiments have grown significantly in prominence over the past decade. The experimental method provides randomization in key variables therefore permitting a deeper understanding of important economic phenomena. This path-breaking volume provides a valuable collection of experimental work within the area of environmental and resource economics and showcases how laboratory and field experiments can be used for both positive and normative purposes.