Polycentric Circles Vol. 2, No. 2

Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
           Volume 2, Number 2, June 1996
Edited by: Margaret Polski 
Layout & Design by: Patty Dalecki 
Co-Directors: Elinor & Vincent Ostrom


Visiting Scholars 
Recent Publications


Ron Oakerson on Police Consolidation in Rochester-Monroe County, NY

The proposal to consolidate the police departments in Monroe County, New York, has surfaced once again. Responding to a flawed analysis of police expenditures, Oakerson wrote an article for the Democrat and Chronicle on January 31, 1996:

 "The Democrat and Chronicle's recent analysis of suburban policing in Monroe County (Jan. 14) identified a real problem of tax inequity, but it also left an erroneous impression that -suburban police have high costs and may not be worth the dollars spent on them. . . .

 Per capita costs for the sheriff's patrol [given below] were based on the population of the area actually patrolled—assumed equal to the county population not served by municipal police, about 206,000 people according to the 1990 census. (Excluded from these calculations is the population on roads covered by both the sheriff's patrol and local municipal police.) This yields an estimated cost of the sheriff's Police Bureau of $107 per capita.

 Not surprisingly, Rochester police have higher costs—$181 per capita. The average cost per resident served by suburban police is $96. These are ballpark figures, but they show that the costs of suburban and sheriff's policing are not widely different.

If the sheriff's Police Bureau expanded to serve the entire county, there is little reason to believe that the per capita cost of the sheriff's patrol would decrease at current service levels.

 In fact, there is ample reason to believe that, when confronted with different service conditions inside Rochester, the per capita cost of the sheriff's patrol would increase significantly. . . .

 Larger departments tend to be no more cost-efficient in police patrols than smaller departments. However, radio dispatch, crime labs, investigation of major crimes, training and other components of policing do benefit to varying degrees from larger-scale production. . . . The newspaper's analysis cited only a single performance indicator—percentage of crimes solved—and found no significant difference between suburban police and the sheriff's patrol.

 But other indicators are equally important—response time, fair and courteous treatment of citizens, and citizen-police cooperation.

 Research . . . has shown that small- to mid-size police departments tend to perform better than large departments on virtually all indicators related to police patrol, including citizen satisfaction. . . . A major advantage of smaller departments is their ease of response to varying service conditions. Of course, the operation of multiple police departments in a metropolitan area also depends on extensive interlocal operation.

 The Democrat and Chronicle reports that police cooperation in -Monroe County is considered exemplary. . . . Consider that a countywide police department would be at least twice the size of the Rochester Police Department and possibly three times the size of the Sheriff's Patrol Bureau.

Research suggests that Monroe County would be better off to keep its present set of small- to mid-size departments, which cooperate well.

The fact remains that residents of Rochester and suburban towns with their own police are subsidizing police services in the rest of the county. The problem is not the cost of police service, but the fairness with which the cost is distributed among residents."

 Filippo Sabetti's recent article

In "Path Dependency and Civic Culture: Some Lessons from Italy about Interpreting Social Experiments," Politics and Society 24(1) (March 1996): 19-49, Sabetti makes an interesting contribution to the discussion of social capital stimulated by Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton University Press, 1993). Sabetti argues that the institutional arrangements of civic life are apt to be quite transparent in the sense of being invisible to an observer unless the observer knows how and what to look for. The association of civic culture with parliamentary government and the state apparatus, as both Putnam and Sabetti recognize, can lead to serious errors when civic institutions are more closely associated with the affairs of everyday life. Unfortunately, many of the institutions associated with "informal" structures may be destroyed by the preemptive initiatives of the State.

 Hilton L. Root was kind enough to send Lin and Vincent a copy of Small Countries: Big Lessons, Governance and the Rise of East Asia (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press; Oxford, New York, 1996). Root provides an extremely readable analysis, arguing that the key to successful development in East Asia has been a transition from "moral authority vested in persons to rule by impersonal institutions. Rules that replaced favoritism with merit and supplanted personal preferences with impersonal codes as a prescription for behavior have helped create a secure foundation for economic rights" (from back cover). Particularly interesting are Root's comparisons with Latin American development initiatives.

Peter Örebech, Norwegian College of Fisheries Science, University of Tromso, Norway, prepared a paper on "Sustainable Development by Means of Market Distribution Mechanism" for the International Conference of Applied Actinomycotic Association on Econometrics of the Environment and Transdisciplinarity. Örebech argues that the construction of a sustainable Market Distribution Mechanism depends on the development of defensible Public Property Rights. He cautions that political control through policymaking by the government runs the risk of "getting stuck in the management labyrinth," while arguing that conceptual categories used in Roman law provide the necessary elements for sustainable development. A change in legal formulations to give legal protection to public property rights "might provide the necessary stepping stones for achieving self-governing sustainable societies." Örebech is pointing the way to legal formulations drawing on the familiar categories of Roman law to achieve what might be considered a legal revolution of major proportions. Peter Örebech is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to spend a portion of the summer and the fall semester 1996 as a visiting scholar at the Workshop.

 Local Government Institute

 Pursuant to the announcement in Polycentric Circles (Vol. 1, No. 2), the Local Government Institute (Robert L. Bish and James C McDavid, co-directors) at the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, is now up and running. We recently received the first edition of their (very well done) newsletter, Local Services Research Review. Of particular interest was a short article by James McDavid, "Advantages and Disadvantages of Contracting Out Local Government Services." Those wishing to contribute articles or receive the Review should contact:

 The Local Government Institute
School of Public Administration
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700
Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2 CANADA

 Phone: 604-472-4162
FAX: 604-472-4163

 Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul. 1996. -Common Lands and Customary Law: Institutional Change in North India over the Past Two Centuries. New Delhi: Oxford University Press {304 pp. ISBN 0-19-563862X}

 Charlotte Hess. 1996. Common Pool Resources and Collective Action: A Bibliography, Volume 3. Bloomington: Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis {454 pp. $35.00 / $20.00 less-developed countries}

 Charlotte Hess. 1996. Forestry Resources and Institutions: A Bibliography. Bloomington: Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis {327 pp. $35.00 / $20.00 less-developed countries}





Prospective CIPEC Logo by Mary Buuck

 The College of Arts and Sciences and the Research and University Graduate School of Indiana University are pleased to announce the creation of a new Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) as of May 1, 1996, which has been given an initial five-year grant of $6,343,242 by the Human Dimensions of Global Change program of the National Science Foundation. The Co-Directors of CIPEC and the Principal Investigators for the NSF grant are Professor Emilio Moran of the Anthropology Department and Director of Anthropological Center for Training & Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT) and Elinor Ostrom, Co-Director of the Workshop.

 CIPEC will serve to integrate the global change activities of a consortium of four research centers already existing on the Bloomington campus:

(1) ACT, headed by Emilio Moran; (2) Midwestern Regional Center (MRC) of the National Institute for Global Change (NIGEC), headed by J.C. Randolph; (3) Population Institute for Research and Training (PIRT), headed by George Alter; and (4) the Workshop, co-directed by Elinor Ostrom and Vincent Ostrom.

 Three broad questions will provide central organizing themes to the diversity of research topics to be undertaken by CIPEC: 1. How is human behavior at household and community levels linked to regional and global change phenomena?

 2. How can physical processes observed and modeled at a global level be linked to human organizational and decision-making processes?

 3. How do institutional arrangements influence the direction and size of the impact of human driving forces, such as population and transportation networks, on forest ecosystems and global change?

 CIPEC activities will include interdisciplinary training and research on these questions focusing primarily on the Western Hemisphere. Sustained training efforts directed toward the conduct of new fieldwork will include research methods ranging from (1) the interpretation of data collected by satellite and aerial photographs based on detailed studies of forested sites at diverse latitudes within the Western Hemisphere, (2) the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and relational databases to integrate vector and raster data obtained from various sources and at various scales, (3) the use of household surveys to obtain data about family and farm-level decision making, (4) the use of group interviews and forest mensuration techniques to obtain insight into the decisions made by user groups and government officials and their impact on local forest resources, and (5) use of archival and census data from diverse jurisdictional levels, time periods, and countries to give estimates of the population dynamics involved.

 Year-long, semester-long, and month-long training courses will be offered to prepare established scholars, recent Ph.D.s, and doctoral candidates to undertake interdisciplinary research that has been difficult in the past given constraints of normal disciplinary divisions and the limitation of individual investigator funding. Sustained, long-term research conducted in carefully selected sites using the best research methods from the physical, biological, and social sciences will enable those associated with CIPEC to move ahead with the essential task of linking micro and macro processes affecting global change. Innovative methods of doing research and policy analysis across spatial and temporal scales, utilizing multiple modes of data collection techniques developed at CIPEC, will be shared with scholars at other U.S. and overseas institutions doing research on the Human Dimensions of Global Change.

 CIPEC staff includes:
Nancy Queen, Administrative Asst.
Mary Buuck, Publications Asst.
Catherine Tucker, Environmental Research Coordinator
Dong Zhuang, Environmental Database Manager
and some familiar faces:
Joby Jerrells, Institutional Research Coordinator
Robin Humphrey, Institutional Database Manager

 The CIPEC colloquium series can be accessed from the Research page of the Workshop Website at:
"". A CIPEC homepage is forthcoming.
Full address: Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change, 408 North Indiana, Room 227, Bloomington, IN 47408-3742

 Beijer Database

 Why is it that, at the cross-national level, population growth has been shown to be associated with the degradation of forest resources while, at the community level, population growth has actually led in some cases to an improvement in the quality and quantity of forest resources? In April of 1994, work began on a project designed to allow researchers to investigate precisely this type of question. The main goal of the project, funded by the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is to create a database containing information on subnational, national, and possibly even transnational, political and ecological units, focusing primarily on the issue of deforestation.

 Currently, a literature review on the causes of deforestation is underway, and data on national rates of deforestation and variables thought to be associated with deforestation cross-nationally are being identified and stored. As a result of these activities, data have been gathered on such diverse explanatory variables as population growth, population density, income, agricultural prices, official development assistance, exchange rate devaluation, and road density. Additionally, data have been collected on several variables relating to constitutional and collective choice structures.

 Eventually, the hope is to be able to use these macro-level data in conjunction with data gathered through micro-level studies in order to undertake analyses across levels of analysis that focus on the same basic research question. This ability to compare results across levels of analysis is becoming increasingly important to those interested in questions of global environmental change.

 Day-to-day project responsibilities are being handled by Paul Turner, Joby Jerrells, Robin Humphrey, and Rod Ginter while Lin Ostrom is providing overall project guidance.

 IFRI Training

IFRI Logo by Charlotte Hess

 Participants from seven countries joined the 1996 International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) training program from January to May at the Workshop. The course, taught by the team of Lin Ostrom, Clark Gibson, Joby Jerrells, Dusty Becker, and Robin Humphrey, introduced the theoretical bases of the IFRI program, the research protocols developed to measure local communities and their forests, the basics of managing relational databases, approaches to writing research strategies, and the steps to establishing an IFRI Collaborating Research Center.

 Importantly, the course also allows participants to employ the concepts they learn to an actual case. This year, the members of May Creek Farm, a community that boasts a 304 commonly owned forest, graciously consented to being the focus of this year's fieldwork. In the course of gathering information using the IFRI research protocols, participants interviewed May Creek members, attended their community meetings, and established the condition of the forest. A great deal of goodwill imbued the fieldwork, as May Creek members were interested in having a serious study done of their efforts at communal living and community forestry. Such goodwill culminated with class participants being selected as honorary May Creek members at the end of the semester.

 Participants this spring included:
Vishwa Ballabh, Institute of Rural Management, P.O. Box 60, Anand 388 001, Gujarat, INDIA
Lars Carlsson, Department of Political Science, University of Lulea, S-971 87 Lulea, SWEDEN
Robert Klessigue Dembele, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Direction Nationale Hydraulique et Energie, B.P. 66, Bamako, MALI
Pablo Arturo Moreno Arriaga, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLASCO), Guatemala City, GUATEMALA
Nilda Saldise Torres, Fundacion Natura, Guayaquil, ECUADOR
Shree Govind Shah, Agriculture and Forestry Development Associate (AFORDA)/ERMA, P.O. Box 1155, Kathmandu, NEPAL
Bakary Toure, Ingenieur des Ressources Naturelles et de L'environnement, B.P.E. 1084, Bamako, MALI
Mauricio Velasquez Romo, Fundacion Natura, Guayaquil, ECUADOR

 Tocqueville Endowment Grows

 The Tocqueville Endowment for the Study of Institutions was established to support the study of institutions and how they can be changed to facilitate self-governance and human development. Since 1984, when Elinor and Vincent Ostrom started the fund with a gift of $20,000, it has grown to over $1 million, generating more than $50,000 in annual income. This remarkable accomplishment is thanks to equally generous donations, small and large, from committed colleagues, their family, friends, and associates throughout the world. This endowment is the Workshop's CPR, providing critical resources to develop and sustain the human capital required for advanced study in institutional analysis at the Workshop. But in an age of dwindling and maddeningly fickle funding for research, we must, more than ever, craft our own solutions. The Tocqueville Endowment is a powerful tool for sustaining the kind of artisanship that binds the Workshop community. Can you or someone you know help?
Look at the difference our collective action made in just one year:


TOCQUEVILLE ENDOWMENT                           


                        4/30/96  4/30/95         Growth

                        (in thousands of $)     Rate


Market Value                    1,307   1,026   27.39%

Gain (Loss)                                     281

Estimated Income                53      45      17.78%

Gain (Loss)                                     8

 INFLATION RATE 2.9% (Twelve-month rate of consumer-price inflation in the U.S.) Source: The Economist.

 The Fulbrighter's Farewell
- Branko Smerdel

 This glorious country of wealth and beauty
Those wonderful scholars of devotion
and duty
The international city open a tutti
Would you please hear the view of mine
This Workshop, is a place especially fine.

 Telefax churns, telephones ring
Computers buzz, a knowledge to bring
My good hosts Ostroms help with
Scholarly community in a search for Truth
We should bring here more Croatian

Discussions were deep and aimed at
A shared community of understanding
There were awards for diligent students
But no democracy for vicious intruders
Various people with all their variations
Yours truly contributed - many digressions

 Printers make noise, everyone's busy
And cars of course to make life easy
If climate is bad, conditioners fix it
The land of opportunity, by hard work
you make it
The Ostrom couple, people more than
Did everything possible to make my stay

 The land of opportunity, and to me it
The whole World shares American dreams
At the top of the hill the City shines
That's all yours but now also mine

 In a way of conclusion comes what's right
Take pride in America and Senator
Croatia admires you not for being above
But older and smarter, you are our love.

 It is time to go home, and there is no regret
Thank you America I shall never forget
And thank you my Ostroms for all your
help and care
I will come back - you better beware.




 On May 1, the Workshop and other well-wishers gathered at Park Street to congratulate Linda Smith on her 30 years of service at Indiana University and Robin Humphrey on his 15 years.

 Congratulations to Sue and David Crawford on the birth of their baby—Nathan William Crawford—born April 21, 1996 {8 lbs, ½ ounce, 21"}

 Mary Beth Wertime and Tjip Walker will be moving in August 1996. Tjip has been awarded a teaching appointment (tenure track) at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Barbara Allen (Carleton College) and Edella Schlager (University of Arizona) both received tenure this spring.

 Jacek Dalecki (April 24) and Andy Herr (May 1) defended their Ph.D. dissertations this spring.



Spring 1996

 Vishwa Ballabh, Institute of Rural Management, P.O. Box 60, Anand 388 001, Gujarat, INDIA
My main research interest is in the area of Developmental and Institutional Economics. For the last 8-10 years, my research work was mainly concentrated on institutional aspects of forest and water management, more particularly resources that are owned and controlled by village communities in India. Besides many published research papers, I have co-edited two books—Farm Forestry in South Asia and Cooperative -Management of Natural Resources both published by Sage, New Delhi.
My main interest in coming to the Workshop has been to understand IFRI research methods and the scope of Institutional Analysis and Development. Besides taking these two courses I am working on two research themes that are part of my long-term research interests—(1) IFRI Research Method and Its Usefulness of Joint and Participatory Management of Forests in India and (2) Bureaucratic Corruption (Rent Seeking) and Its Implications for Resources Management in India.

 Susan Buck, Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina, 137 Graham Bldg., Greensboro, NC
I have been on research leave from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro for spring 1996. My project at the Workshop has been an examination of the Wildlife Diversity Funding Initiative (a proposal to tax wildlife-related products such as bird feed to fund state non-game programs).
This is part of a larger research interest in federal-state relations in wildlife management and how these relations affect biodiversity in the United States. I am also writing about implementation of the Biodiversity Convention in Great Britain.
I will spend May in Great Britain to finish data collection, and next summer I will be a Fulbright Scholar at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, lecturing on environmental policy and continuing to write on biodiversity projects in Great Britain.

 Andre Habisch, Kolkrabenweg 9, 12351 Berlin, FED. REP. OF -GERMANY
As theologian and economist, I am actually working on family policy. Problems concerning the transformation of families during the modernization process are often conceptualized on a very intuitive level. What is basically lacking is a proper analysis of the role of families inside of the exchange process of society. Some newly emerged concepts seem particularly helpful for that purpose: human capital and social capital. Sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), I was at the Workshop from January to April in order to explore the literature on social capital theory and got some very valuable research guidelines for my work. Thanks to the extremely fruitful and delighting weeks in Bloomington, I will be able to finish my post-doc qualification ("Habilitation") this year.

 Marleen Maarleveld, Dept. of Communication & Innovation Studies, Wageningen Agricultural University, Holandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, THE NETHERLANDS
Marleen is a research assistant/Ph.D. candidate who visited the Workshop on a stipend from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Her research focuses on the use of participatory approaches as a strategy to cope with the social dilemmas involved in sustainable governance of natural resources, in particular water resources. She came to the Workshop to learn more about institutional analysis; the combination of theoretical, laboratory, and empirical research; and to work on a conceptual framework for a comparative empirical study evaluating the practices of inducing sustainable governance of natural resources through participation.

 Jan Age Riseth, Narvik Institute of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 385, N-8501 Narvik, NORWAY
Jan is a M.Sc. of Natural Environment Management and a lecturer in Environment and Social Science for undergraduate engineering students. From the fall of 1994, he held a 3-year scholarship from the Research Council of Norway for working on his Ph.D. project on Sustainable Saami Reindeer Management in Northern Scandinavia. He is now a research fellow at Narvik College and a Ph.D. student at the Agricultural University of Norway. His doctorate is in the field of Resource Economics with a special approach of Institutional Analysis. Jan spent the spring semester at the Workshop. Besides taking Elinor Ostrom's micro seminar in Institutional Analysis and Development and writing on his own research papers, Jan took a course in Environmental Economics at the School for Public and Environmental Affairs.



Spring 1996

 David Bolt, Robert Boudreaux, and Bill Stefanacci, Miramar Studios, San Francisco, CA
Carlos Brenes and Anette Norling, FAO/FTPP, San Jose, Costa Rica
Ed Connerley, ARD, Tuolumne, CA
Robert Costanza, Maryland International Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Maryland
Maria Concepcion Cruz, Global -Environmental Facility, Washington, DC
Christopher Gerrard, The World Bank, Washington, DC
Rita Hilton, The World Bank, Washington, DC
Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul, Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, India
Margaret Levi, Dept. of Political Science, University of Washington
Bobbi Low, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan
William Lowrey, Presbyterian Washington Office, Vienna, VA
Paul Lundberg, UNDP, Pakistan
Ronald Oakerson, Dept. of Political Science, Houghton College
Haakan Sandersen, Nordland Research Institute, Bodoe, Norway
Elise Paylan Schoux and Mary Jennings, ICS, San Francisco, CA
Ganesh Shivakoti and A. K. Shukla, IAAS, Tribhuvan University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal
Rajendra Shrestha, AFDA, Kathmandu, Nepal
Priya Shyamsundar, MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL
Richard Trenchard, FAO, Rome, Italy
James Wilson, Dept. of Resource Economics & Policy, University of Maine



Fall 1996

 S. Bamidele Ayo, Dept. of Public Administration, Abafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, NIGERIA
Vishwa Ballabh, Inst. of Rural Management, Gujarat, INDIA
Yu-zhuang Deng, Inst. of Public Administration, Beijing, CHINA
Malgorzata Korzycka-Iwanow, Dept. of Agricultural Law, Warsaw University, POLAND
Peter Örebech, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromso, NORWAY
Prachandra Pradhan, Kathmandu, NEPAL
Renee Smith, Dept. of Political Science, University of Rochester, NY
Mark Sproule-Jones, Dept. of Political Science, McMaster University, Ontario, CANADA
Amos Sawyer, Former President, Interim Government of Liberia

Staff Changes

Paula Kellogg has replaced Laura Watkins as IFRI Program Secretary/Office Coordinator in Woodburn Hall.

 The Workshop welcomes Sara Colburn, who is replacing Paula at Park St. Sara is working on two Master of Music degrees at the IU School of Music in Voice and in Early Music.


(Fall 1995)

 Brian Collins, Dept. of Political Science, IU, "Optimism or Opportunism: Evaluating U.S. State Government Revenue Forecasting," January 22 **

 Warren Ilchman, Politics and Philanthropic Studies, IUPUI, & Executive Director, IU Center on Philanthropy, "The Utility of a -Faddish Concept: Civil Society and the Comparison of Regimes," -January 29 **

 Michele Fratianni, School of Business, IU, and Free University of Berlin, "Variable Integration in the European Union," February 5

 Lee Benham, Dept. of Economics, Washington University, St. Louis, and Alexandra Benham, St. Louis, "Institutional Reform in Central and Eastern Europe: Altering Paths with Incentives and Information," February 12

 Tjip Walker, Dept. of Political Science and Workshop, IU, "Both Pretense and Promise: The Political Economy of Privatization in Africa," February 19 **

 Peter Bogason, Dept. of Social Science, Roskilde University, Denmark, "Collective Action in the Locality: Institutional Theory and Research Bottom-up," February 20

 James T. Thomson, Associates in Rural Development, Burlington, VT, and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop, IU, "State Theory and Practice in Francophone Africa: French Roots and Perspectives," February 26

 Susan J. Buck, Dept. of Political Science, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop, IU, "Saving All the Parts: Federal-State Cooperation in Wildlife Management," March 4 **

 Melvin J. Hinich, Dept. of Government, University of Texas-Austin, "New Issues and the Dynamics of Political Change," March 18

 Franco Furger, Inst. of Public Policy, George Mason University, "Intermediary Organizations as Instruments of Environmental Policy: The Case of the Maritime Industry," March 25

 Thomas Apolte, Dept. of Economics, University of Duisburg, Germany, "American Federalism and Emerging Federal Structures in Europe: A Comparative View," April 1

 Leonid Hurwicz, Dept. of Economics, University of Minnesota, "Modeling Institutions," April 8, 1996 **

 Hakan Myrlund, Dept. of Political Science, Lulea University, Sweden, "Attitudes and Latitudes: Attitudes to the European Union among High School Students in Northern and Southern Sweden," April 15

 Rick K. Wilson, Dept. of Political Science, Rice University, "Context, Institutional Powers and Leadership Traits: Disentangling Leadership and Followership," April 22

 Vernon Smith, Economic Science Laboratory, University of Arizona, "Game Theory and Reciprocity in Some Extensive Form Experimental Games," April 30.

 * Paper available from Workshop
** Background paper/handout available


Minoti Kaul, March 31: Vincent, Don't you think customary law is an expression of that endeavor to be self-reliant? Most people tell me when I talk about this orientation that there will be chaos if everybody is allowed to work out on their own. Some challenge the fact that communities can usually work out things for themselves and one person refused to believe that the process of problem solving can be without endless strife. I know there can be ruthless adventurists too, but then shouldn't an elected government function to prevent that?

 Vincent Ostrom, May 10: Minoti, If we assume responsibility for our own lives, we take the responsibility not only for ourselves alone but for our ability to work out constructive resolutions with others. Unfortunately, I fear that there may be traditional societies that emphasize the burden of nonresistant obedience to superior authority. This was the ground for elevating Boris and Gleb, the sons of Vladimir, to sainthood in the Russian Orthodox Church.
The essential condition for learning to occur requires some essential autonomy on the part of a learning organism. This leads me to conclude that nonresistant submission in a culture will always be subject to challenge by the way that the genetic endowment of learning organisms will always stimulate a challenge to nonresistant obedience. When democratic societies stimulate ruthless adventurists to seek their opportunities and persuade other people to go along with their schemes, we have a potential source of trouble. What, then, are the opportunities to challenge? If only ruthless opportunists are sorted out to play the game of politics, I am not sure that a democratic civilization can survive.

 Vernon Smith, Department of Economics and Economic Science Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, visited the Workshop on April 30 for some informal discussions about joint research interests and to make a presentation at a special colloquium on "Game Theory and Reciprocity in Some Extensive Form Experimental Games"—a paper written with Keven A. McCabe and Stephen J. Rassenti. A series of recent papers by Smith and colleagues is extremely useful and interesting for the sweep of answers they provide.
In "Rational Choice: The Contrast Between Economics and Psychology" [Journal of Political Economy 99(4) (1991): 877-97], Smith provides a thoughtful critique of the book entitled Rational Choice: The Contrast edited by Robin Hogarth and Melvin Reder and published in 1987.
In a recent working paper entitled, "Behavioral Foundations of Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and -Evolutionary Psychology," Elizabeth Hoffman, Keven McCabe, and Vernon Smith hypothesize that the human mind is composed of context-specific mental modules that clue the human into what kinds of behavior should be expected and monitored in a particular setting. They review the recent work in evolutionary psychology and relate that to findings from experimental economics (available from Smith at the above address).
In the colloquium paper, Smith and colleagues develop a game in extensive form that helps to isolate various types of strategies that individuals would be expected to adopt from predictions of non-cooperative game theory. Subjects act both with reciprocity and with myopic self interest in the various permutations of their experimental design. They find surprising support for cooperative strategies that are contrary to predictions where individuals have complete information even when the play of the game occurs only once. The particulars of the institutional arrangement make a dramatic difference in the type of repetitive behavior observed.

 Leonid Hurwicz, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota, visited the Workshop from April 7-9. His visit provided many of us the wonderful opportunity for both informal discussions and to hear Hurwicz discuss his recent paper on "Institutions as Families of Game Forms," The Japanese Economic Review, forthcoming June 1996. Hurwicz makes a distinction between game forms and games. Game forms are the structural elements of a game leading to outcomes and are very similar to the concept of an action situation as we use it around the Workshop. When the utility functions are introduced to represent preferences, then the game form is transformed into a game. Hurwicz has been struggling with how the rules of a game form get enforced and thus can actually be considered as rules of a game form. He defines a set of individuals called interveners who both have a preference to see that the rules are followed and have assets to be used in influencing the outcomes to conform to these rules. Interveners are thus a broad class of agents who may or may not take on the formal role of enforcers, but they themselves must be motivated or they cannot "close" the circle.

 Ray Battalio, Department of Economics, Texas A&M University, visited the Workshop in March for three days of discussions on his current research in game theory and its relation to the work being conducted by Lin, Jimmy Walker, and Roy Gardner. While here, Ray gave a seminar, held jointly with the Department of Economics, on "Evidence on Learning in Coordination Games." In this research program, Battalio, John Van Huyck, and Frederick Rankin focus on the issue of whether certain equilibria act as attractors to decision makers under varying degrees of information about the decision situation. Four aspects of behavior are investigated: (1) subjects' reaction to the experimental decision setting as it pertains to deductive principles of selection among alternative actions, (2) adaptation as a function of experience in repeated play of the decision game, (3) patterns of equilibrium selection, and (4) the dynamics of choice in comparison to "simulated agents" whose decisions follow best response learning functions. In the extreme limited information case, players know only their feasible actions and the history of payoffs from prior play of the game. Interestingly, in this latter extreme case, the experimental subjects converge to very close to a stable payoff superior equilibrium significantly faster than simulated players using a probabilistic learning rule.
In addition to his international reputation as an experimentalist investigating behavior in game-theoretic situations, Ray and his colleague, John Kagel of the University of Pittsburgh, have conducted extensive testing of behavioral models using animal subjects. This work has had considerable impact in both economics and psychology as a medium for testing competing theories of individual behavior.

 Bruno Frey and Iris Bohnet, Institute for Empirical Economic Research, University of Zurich, visited the Workshop in February for a couple of days to discuss their current work in experimental economics. While here, they gave a joint seminar with the Economics Department entitled "The Sound of Silence, An Experimental Approach." This is a very interesting empirical piece investigating how variations in "silent interaction" can affect behavior in prisoner dilemma (PD) and dictator games. In the case of PD games, cooperation/altruism by the decision maker is costly to the individual, but increases overall income earned in the experiment. In the case of a dictator game, however, such behavior is strictly an income transfer from the decision maker to other subjects. Three situations are investigated in the research: (1) anonymity, (2) face-to-face communication, and (3) common information on the identities of the subjects (subjects simply observed each other silently). The goal of these experiments is to build a better understanding of how "solidarity" is affected by the prevailing informational and institutional setting. In the PD game, identification creates some improvement in cooperation, but that improvement is small relative to communication. Interestingly, in the dictator game, mere identification has the same effect as communication, roughly doubling the level of cooperation.

 Hacienda Group

 Ronald Oakerson, Elinor Ostrom, and Vincent Ostrom attended a meeting of the Hacienda Group on "Community Solutions in Rural Areas" held at the Hacienda San Antonio near Colima, Mexico, March 7-9, 1996. Sir James Goldsmith was host to the conference to address concerns that the modern State may be incapable of addressing problems associated with the dislocation and movement of a large part of the world's population that has traditionally made its living in rural areas. Robert Hawkins, President of the Institute for Contemporary Studies, and Roy Goodson, President of the National Strategy Information Center, organized the sessions. How such populations might better realize productive potentials is a problem in many parts of the world. Colima is of special interest to Lin and Vincent because their "lady from Colima," which adorns one corner of their living room, is an artifact coming from the pre-Columbian era. The museum at Colima reveals a very rich cultural heritage with important potentials for the modern world.

 Trip to East Africa

 In an effort to strengthen ties with colleagues in Uganda and to establish additional ties to individuals and organizations in East Africa, Clark Gibson traveled to Uganda and Kenya in March for two weeks. The trip had three discrete periods. First, Clark represented the Workshop's IFRI staff at a symposium hosted by colleagues at the Ugandan Forestry Resources and Institutions Center and the Makerere Institute for Social Research at Makerere University. The symposium's focus was the management of common-property resources in East Africa. The Ford Foundationsponsored symposium, one of the first of its kind in this region, had participants from Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania representing government ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and universities. Participants generally regarded the symposium as a success; it was clear that by the end of the two days of panels, stronger links had been forged between individuals interested in common-pool resource management.
The second part of the trip was composed of a field trip to two of UFRIC's research sites. Clark joined Dr. Banana, Pius Kizito (UFRIC), and Nick Menzies (Ford Foundation) to examine the forest-people nexus in both a privately owned forest outside of Kampala (Namungo's Forest), and a government-owned forest reserve near the Zaire/Rwanda/Uganda border (Echuya Forest). The latter site was especially interesting in that the Abayanda people, a community of pygmies living in Uganda, are primary users of products found in the government reserve. Unfortunately, generations of oppression and prejudice have engendered very poor living conditions for the Abayanda. Their way of life, which is tightly bound to forests, is threatened by their low social position.
The last part of the East Africa trip found Clark in Kenya speaking with dozens of individuals representing government and nongovernment organizations who might be interested in the IFRI research program. Generally, Clark experienced an extremely positive response to IFRI's concepts, research program, and promise as an input into better policymaking about forest management.

 Voices from the Commons, June 5-9, 1996

The International Association for the Study of Common Property holds its 6th annual conference in Berkeley, California. Workshoppers attending included:

 Lars Carlsson, "Commons in Urban Industrialized Society."

 Clark Gibson and Elinor Ostrom, "Explaining Deforestation: The Role of Local Institutions" (also chairing session IV: Institutions and Forest Resources)

 William Gombya-Ssembajjwe, "Consumptive Utilization of Tropical Moist Forests by Local Communities: Management Challenges in Uganda."

 Jan Age Riseth, "Adaptation Strategies and Property Regime Development in the Saami Reindeer Industry in Norway: A Comparative Study."



Kaminski, Antoni. 1996. "The New Polish Regime and the Specter of Economic Corruption," presented at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, April 3.

 Lam, Wai Fung. 1996. "Improving the Performance of Small-Scale Irrigation Systems: The Effects of Technological Investments and Governance Structure on Irrigation Performance in Nepal." World Development 24(8) (August): forthcoming.

 McGinnis, Michael, and Elinor Ostrom. 1996. "Design Principles for Local and Global Commons." In The International Political Economy and International Institutions, Volume II, ed. Oran R. Young, 465-93. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.

 Olowu, C.A.B. 1996. "Bureaucracy and Democratic Governance in Africa: An Agenda for Reform." Prepared for conference on Governance Issues in Africa, Mt. Meru, Arusha, Tanzania, May 12-16, while on assignment to U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 Olowu, C.A.B. 1996. "Bureaucracy and the People: The Nigerian Experience." Inaugural Lecture Series III. Ile-Ife, Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo University Press.

 Ostrom, Elinor. 1996. "Incentives, Rules of the Game, and Development." In Proceedings of the Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics 1995, 207-234. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

 Ostrom, Elinor. 1996. "Crossing the Great Divide: Coproduction, Synergy, and Development." World Development 24(4) (June): forthcoming.

 Ostrom, Vincent. 1996. "The Challenge of the Quest for Excellence." International Journal of Public Administration 19(2):125-49.

 Sabetti, Filippo. 1996. "Path Dependency and Civic Culture: Some Lessons From Italy About Interpreting Social Experiments." Politics & Society 24(1) (March): 19-44.

 Tang, Shui-Yan, Peter J. Robertson, and Charles E. Lane. 1996. "Organizational Types, Commitment, and Managerial Actions." Public Productivity & Management Review 19(3) (March): 289-312.


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Last updated:  September 24, 1997