Thanks but no thanks: A new policy to reduce land conflict

Martin Dufwenberg, Gunnar Köhlin, Peter Martinsson, Haileselassie Medhin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Land conflicts in developing countries are costly both directly and through increased land degradation. An important policy goal is to create respect for borders. This often involves mandatory, expensive interventions. We propose a new policy design, which in theory promotes neighborly relations at low cost. A salient feature is the option to by-pass regulation through consensus. The key idea combines the insight that social preferences transform social dilemmas into coordination problems with the logic of forward induction. As a first, low-cost pass at empirical evaluation, we conduct an experiment among farmers in the Ethiopian highlands, a region exhibiting features typical of countries where borders are often disputed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-50
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Conflict
  • Ethiopia
  • Experiment
  • Forward induction
  • Land reform
  • Social preferences
  • Voluntary agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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