We study the impact of discrete versus continuous time on the behavior of agents in the context of a dynamic common pool resource game. To this purpose, we consider a linear quadratic model and conduct a lab experiment in which agents exploit a renewable resource with an infinite horizon. We use a differential game for continuous time and derive its discrete time approximation. In the single agent setting, we fail to detect, on a battery of indicators, any difference between agents’ behavior in discrete and continuous time. Conversely, in the two-player setting, significantly more agents can be classified as myopic and end up with a low resource level in discrete time. Continuous time seems to allow for better cooperation and thus greater sustainability of the resource than does discrete time.
Continuous versus Discrete Time in Dynamic Common Pool Resource Game Experiments
21 May 2022