Fixed position and property rights in sequential resource dilemmas under uncertainty

Ramzi Suleiman, Amnon Rapoport, David V. Budescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considered in this paper is a noncooperative n-person resource dilemma game in which players can share a common and uncertain resource whose probability distribution is common knowledge. Making their requests from the pool privately with no preplay communication, individuals are granted their requests if, and only if, the total group request does not exceed the value of the unknown resource. We investigate this game under the sequential protocol of play and show that if positions in the sequence are fixed for all stage games and commonly known, the threat of retaliation against players requesting disproportionally large shares is sufficient to induce a more egalitarian distribution of requests. Acquisition of property rights, which is hypothesized to induce more skewed request distributions, was ineffective, presumably because of the relatively large group size, or lack of outcome feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This researchw as supportedb y researchG rantSES 9107439f rom NSF, and by a granta wardedto the first authorb y the IsraelS cienceF oundationW. e wish to thanka n anonymourse viewefro r manyh elpfulc ommentosn an earlierv ersion.


  • Common dilemmas
  • Group decision making
  • Property rights
  • Sequential effects
  • Social dilemmas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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