From the lab to the field: Cooperation among fishermen

Jan Stoop, Charles N. Noussair, Daan van Soest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We conduct a field experiment to measure cooperation among groups of recreational fishermen at a privately owned fishing facility. Group earnings are greater when group members catch fewer fish. Consistent with classical economic theory, though in contrast to prior results from laboratory experiments, we find no cooperation. A series of additional treatments identifies causes of the difference. We rule out the subject pool and the laboratory setting as potential causes and identify the type of activity involved as the source of the lack of cooperation in our field experiment. When cooperation requires reducing fishing effort, individuals are not cooperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1056
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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