We conduct a field experiment on conflict in swimming pools. When all lanes are occupied, an actor joins the least crowded lane and asks one of the swimmers to move to another lane. The lane represents a contested scarce resource. We vary the actor’s valuation (high and low) for the good through the message they deliver. Also, we take advantage of the natural variation in the number of swimmers to proxy for their valuation. Consistent with theoretical predictions, a swimmer’s propensity to engage in conflict increases in scarcity (incentive effect) and decreases in the actor’s valuation (discouragement effect). We complement the results with survey evidence.
Balafoutas, L., Faravelli, M., & Sheremeta, R. (2021). Conflict in the pool: A field experiment. ESI Working Paper 21-16. https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/353/