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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Theory

Crowding in and participation

Variable relationship:

Motivation crowding theory (Frey and Jegen 2001) argues that actors are more likely to comply with rules when they are able to meaningfully participate in the design of rules that affects them, contributing to more sustainable patterns of use (Cardenas et al. 2000).  

Scientific Field
Component Type(s)


VariableRoleRole ExplanationValue
Participation in rule makingUnderlying independent variableWhen actors are able to participate in designing the rules that affect then it crowds-in pro-social incentives that encourage them to comply with those rules. High
ComplianceIntermediate outcomeAs a result of pro-social incentives for compliance actors are more likely to comply with resource management rules. High
Commons condition trendFinal outcomeAs a result of higher levels of compliance the conditions of the commons are maintained. Improved or remained the same

Related Theories

TheoryRelationshipCharacterizing Variables
Polycentric comanagementnested
Critique of fortress conservationnested
Participatory management related

Related Studies


Cardenas, Juan Camilo, John Stranlund, and Cleve Willis. 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out."  World Development 28 (10):1719-1733.


Frey, Bruno S, and Reto Jegen. 2001. “Motivational Interactions: Effects on Behaviour.” Annales d’Economie et de Statistique: 131–153.