1. Dorj: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. Phone 1-808-956-8496, Fax 1-808-956-4347, E-mail
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    • The author is deeply grateful to Katerina Sherstuyk, Sun-Ki Chai, Marco Casari, Charles Plott, Lata Gangadharan, Uyanga Tsedev, Kimberly Burnett, two anonymous referees, and the editor for helpful comments. This research was funded through the Arts and Science Advisory Council Award and research grant from the Department of Economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I thank the Academy of Management in Mongolia for providing facilities to conduct experiments. This work benefited from the conversation with conference participants at the Western Economic Association International meeting 2008, and the Economic Science Association North-American meeting 2007.


The Tragedy of the Commons may get worse if people freely move between different commons. We conducted laboratory experiments with the common-pool resource setting in which people freely moved between two localities. The localities differed by governing regimes: no regulation or sanctions imposed either exogenously or chosen by majority voting. We find that under free mobility, efficient resource use is attainable with sanctions given that the target harvesting level adjusts to the number of users. People self-select into different regimes based on their behavioral types. Results are consistent across the United States and Mongolia. (JEL C7, C72, C91, Q2, R12)