Environmental uncertainty in commons dilemmas: A survey of experimental research Academic Article


  • International Journal of the Commons


  • I conducted a systematic review of experimental resource dilemma studies that manipulated environmental uncertainty. I classify the collected studies according to whether the incentives reflected a coordination or a cooperation problem. I provide, for each type of incentive, a general overview of the strategic setting and its adaptation to the experimental paradigm. I find that, regardless of the type of incentives, environmental uncertainty has an efficiency-diminishing effect in most of the experimental settings. I also present and discuss a selective set of experiments mimicking the climate change problem, in which the proposed incentives combine elements from coordination and cooperation problems. I conclude with a general discussion of the findings about how different sources of environmental uncertainty affect efficiency in collective action problems, paying special attention to climate change issues.

publication date

  • 2018-1-1


  • 12


  • Environmental incentives
  • climate change
  • collective action problem
  • efficiency
  • experiment
  • incentive
  • paradigm
  • resources
  • uncertainty

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1875-0281

number of pages

  • 30

start page

  • 300

end page

  • 329