Resource Scarcity and Antisocial Behavior

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Prediger S, Vollan B, Herrmann B
Journal: Journal of Public Economics
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2014
Volume: 119
Pages range: 1-9
ISSN: 0047-2727
Language: English


This paper examines whether exposure to persistent resource scarcity on the commons affects pastoralists' readiness to engage in antisocial behavior towards their fellow commons users. The region under study is divided into two areas according to exogenous variations in biomass production stemming from geological peculiarities. We conducted a joy-of-destruction game with pastoralists from both areas and provide evidence for a positive relationship between antisocial behavior and long-term exposure to scarcity. Antisocial behavior among villagers occurs twice as often in an area where resources are scarcer and competitive pressure is higher. Our results remain robust to the inclusion of various controls, including beliefs, socio-demographics, absolute and relative income, and within-group inequality. If one interprets decreasing another participant's payoff below one's own as a tendency towards conflict behavior, our results suggest a higher risk of conflict among resource users in areas of greater scarcity.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Prediger, Sebastian Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre

Research Fields

Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre

How to cite

Prediger, S., Vollan, B., & Herrmann, B. (2014). Resource Scarcity and Antisocial Behavior. Journal of Public Economics, 119, 1-9.

Prediger, Sebastian, Björn Vollan, and Benedikt Herrmann. "Resource Scarcity and Antisocial Behavior." Journal of Public Economics 119 (2014): 1-9.


Last updated on 2018-08-08 at 05:21