Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Michael K. Price

Second Advisor

James C. Cox

Third Advisor

H. Spencer Banzhaf

Fourth Advisor

Andreas Lange


The focus of this research is on social dilemmas; instances where individual incentives are not aligned to social welfare maximization. The three chapters of the dissertation examine methods to mitigate three different social dilemmas in environmental economics. The first chapter uses a laboratory experiment to test the relative efficacies of the probability and severity of sanctions in reducing socially suboptimal extraction from a common property resource. Keeping expected penalties constant, the paper tests whether probability or severity is a more powerful deterrent under four quota regimes governing resource utilization. The second chapter uses secondary data and quasi-experimental empirical techniques to evaluate the performance of community-based resource management programs in Africa. These programs are intended to dis-incentivize poaching of wild animals by providing individuals a share in the revenues generated by national park services like eco-tourism and trophy hunting. The third chapter discusses a laboratory experiment conducted in Qatar that aims to understand the effectiveness of priming religious identity and national identity on individuals' pro-social preferences. This experiment is a precursor to a large-scale randomized intervention designed to reduce residential electricity use in Qatar.

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