Using what amounts to a field experiment we analyse whether the electricity consumption patterns of consumers are altered by the experience of blackouts and the exposure to Eskom’s communication. Secondly; we analyse bargaining experiments focussed on disputes concerning conservation-land owned by the South African National Defence Force and the conservation agencies.
Using what amounts to a field experiment, in the form of Eskom (National Electricity Provider for South Africa) electricity consumption data covering the last four years, we analyse whether the electricity consumption patterns of consumers, in various regions, are altered by two things: the experience of blackouts and the exposure to Eskom’s communication, via national television, of the likelihood of a blackout occurring in a particular region.
By further interrogating this question in a more controlled lab setting we tease out how agents may generally respond to surprise events and information that indicates the changing likelihood of a common-pool resource (CPR), from which they may draw, being destroyed. The computer lab tests will also serve as a meaningful test of the applicability of a hypothesis from behavioural economics, that raising the accessibility of relevant concepts nudges behaviour to be more optimal, to CPR’s facing probabilistic destruction. In providing such an analysis of individual behaviour an insight from behavioural economics is able to be tested in a context where that does not usually happen, and a valuable addition to commons literature may be made. We further investigate the ability of firms to adjust to policy announcements and in what way providing timely information about phase-in of new environmental policy can facilitate the efficient transition and internalization of adjustment costs.
The second project that forms part of this proposal consist of bargaining experiments focussed on disputes concerning conservation-land owned by the South African National Defence Force and the conservation agencies. Based on a through literature review, stakeholder discussions and theoretical modelling a Coasean Bargaining experiment has been designed to test the effect of delay dues to conflict between bargaining parties on reaching viable outcomes. The experiment will pose a hypothetical scenario in which the rights for the management of conservation rich areas will be vied for. The effect of third party monitoring in facilitating such bargaining procedures will be investigated as well. Here the focus on the role of a non/credible third party that is an indirect stakeholder (such as individuals owning land or living adjacent to the disputed area), who may benefit or be negatively affected from efficient management of the land. We provide the option for third party beneficiaries to make side-payments to sway the outcome of the bargaining process and subsequent effort in conservation (e.g. prospective real estate/property developers in the area). We hope to also use active participants from SADF and DEAT or SANBI in subsequent focussed experiments.