There is a growing literature that studies the management of Common Pool Resources (CPRs) within the context of controlled laboratory experiments. A major thesis of this work is that non-binding communication (cheap talk) among appropriators of the commons may be sufficient to permit them to manage the commons efficiently without requiring an outside regulator. In this chapter we compare three CPR environments in controlled laboratory sessions with and without non-binding communication. We identify the nature of the differences across the environments and propose several new environments that may support a conjecture that cognitive differences induced by the framing of the sessions leads to the differences we find. Our results suggest that the success of nonbinding communication in reducing over-appropriation from a CPR may be dependent upon the characteristics of the CPR's yield function, the nature of the communication and the number of appropriators.

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Buckley, N.J. (Neil J.), Mestelman, S. (Stuart), Muller, R.A. (R. Andrew), Rogers, M. (Mackenzie), Schott, S, & Zhang, J. (Jingjing). (2016). Appropriation from a common pool resource: effects of the characteristics of the common pool resource, the appropriators and the existence of communication. In World Scientific Reference on Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in the Era of Global Change (pp. 15–42). doi:10.1142/9747