Working Papers:

Domination and Mutualism: Consumption and Conservation of Resources in the Lab.  (Job Market Paper)

Tom J. Frye

Threshold Common Pool Resources and Ambiguous Natural Dilemmas.

Tom J. Frye

Neighborhood Sorting Through Parcel Acquisitions with Negative Externalities

Tom J. Frye, R. Mark Isaac, Carl Kitchens

Work in Progress:

(Tentative Title) Shared Vulnerability in Audits and the Provision of Economic Goods: An Experimetnal Study.

Eddie Thomas, Tom J. Frye

A Theory of Budget Competition and Incentive Incompatibility between State Agencies.

Tom J. Frye

Selected Abstracts


I develop a game theoretic model in which a resource pool has a common pool and public good aspect in its usage, such as hunting (consumption) and conservation of wildlife. I then implement a laboratory experiment to evaluate how spillovers between the two related resource accounts affect consumption and conservation behaviors. The Nash prediction suggests payoff maximizing agents will increase spending on both consumption and conservation until both are equivalent when resource spillovers are present. Results from laboratory experiments are consistent with this hypothesis. As a policy intervention, I introduce and then later revoke a common pool licensing policy based on U.S. hunting and fishing licensing. Under the same theoretical framework, removing a common pool licensing policy would increase welfare for all resource stakeholders. Contrary to this, experimental evidence indicates no overall change in welfare. After removing the restrictive licensing policy the increase in the quantity of agents consuming from the commons is offset by a per-subject reduction in the amount of common pool investment.


This study aims to test the existence of a theoretical phenomenon in which the absence of crucial distributional information available for a threshold common pool resource (CPR) may negatively affect its own sustainable use. I explore two cases of this environment, one in which the resource’s destructive tipping point has a known distribution (risk) and one in which an objective probability cannot be calculated (ambiguity). The relevant theory predicts that higher uncertainty, both known and unknown, will increase consumption of threshold CPRs. Because ambiguity also increases resource consumption in theory, this is of interest to observe experimentally to see if imprecise information does indeed lead to further resource deterioration beyond the boundaries of known risk. Similar to past literature, this study produces experimental evidence that increases in threshold risk have a strong positive marginal effect on common pool requests. Most importantly, I find new evidence in the lab that supports the notion that increasing the degree of environmental ambiguity by introducing imprecise information further increases consumption in the commons when second order stochastic dominance of distributions is controlled for in analysis.