Groups discipline resource use under scarcity

  • Scarcity sharpens the conflict between short term gains and long term sustainability. Psychological research documents that decision makers focus on immediate needs under scarcity and use available resources more effectively. However, decision makers also borrow too much from future resources and overall performance decreases as a consequence. Using an online experiment, we study how scarcity affects borrowing decisions in groups. We first document that scarcity affects groups in a similar way as individuals. Then, we go on to show that the negative effect of scarcity is weaker for groups than for individuals. Even in a minimal design that excludes direct interaction or communication, the fact that participants know that their own behavior affects and can be partly observed by another participant disciplines their use of scarce resources. Our results thus highlight the benefit of groups as units of human organization.

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Author:Florian DiekertORCiDGND, Kjell Arne Brekke
Frontdoor URL
Parent Title (English):Theory and Decision
Publisher:Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universität Augsburg
Release Date:2023/04/21
Tag:Computer Science Applications; General Economics, Econometrics and Finance; General Social Sciences; Applied Psychology; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Developmental and Educational Psychology; General Decision Sciences
First Page:75
Last Page:103
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Fakultätsübergreifende Institute und Einrichtungen
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre
Fakultätsübergreifende Institute und Einrichtungen / Zentrum für Klimaresilienz
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre / Professur für Umweltökonomik
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):CC-BY 4.0: Creative Commons: Namensnennung (mit Print on Demand)