Laboratory experiments in social sciences are a powerful tool with which to study causal mechanisms in human interactions. Over the past several years, experimental games have been applied increasingly in transdisciplinary research in natural resource management with a strong purpose to develop capacity to promote learning and behavioral change. Yet, few studies have evaluated the potential of different experimental game designs to promote collective action outside of experiments. In a framed field experiment on water management in rural India, we compared within-game behavior and collective action outside the game between individuals who received individual payments and those who did not. Our results show little evidence for different behavior in the game. However, we find some evidence that our experimental game induced real-world changes compared to a control group without game intervention and that this change is slightly more likely to occur when IPs are used.
Bartels, Lara, Thomas Falk, Vishwambhar Duche and Björn Vollan (2022), Experimental games in transdisciplinary research: The potential importance of individual payments, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Download