Tragedy of the Commons After 50 Years & A New Model of the Rational Actor

“[Elinor Ostrom] then developed a ‘second-generation model of rationality’ in which humans are ‘complex, fallible learners who seek to do as well as they can given the constraints that they face and who are able to learn heuristics, norms, rules, and how to craft rules to improve achieved outcomes’ (E. Ostrom 1998, p. 9). The second-generation model of rationality predicts that reciprocity, reputation, and trust as ‘core relationships’ can lead to increased net benefits (13). This theoretical model identifies “individual attributes” that are particularly important in explaining behavior in social dilemmas. These attributes include ‘[1] the expectations individuals have about others’ behavior (trust), [2] the norms individuals learn from socialization and life’s experiences
(reciprocity), and [3] the identities individuals create that project their intentions and norms (reputation)’ (14).”

-Alain Marciano, “Tragedy of the Commons after 50 Years.” SSRN. September 11, 2019.