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The "Carte di Regola"-project


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ongoing project

Main topic



This project aims at understanding the tragedy of the commons and identifying mechanisms that generate virtuous self-governance by the users of a local resource in communities of the Italian Alps between the years 1200 and 1800. A successful management of the commons involves solving  social dilemma-situations through mechanisms that promote co-operation. This research is problem-driven and interdisciplinary: it involves fieldwork, experiments, and simulations.


Studies of this project

The study by Casari (2007) is a field law-and-economics study on material collected in archives of Northern Italy and using game theory, in particular the Folk Theorems, to interpret the empirical evidence and the role of the legal institutions in overcoming the 'tragedy of the commons'.


The study by Casari and Plott (2003), an experimental study on peer punishment, was motivated by the apparent success of the field institutions in promoting co-operation. When the experiments were run in 1999, this topic was at the forefront of economic research. It showed the behavioral tendency of people to punish free-riders even if it is personally costly to do so, and how it improves the level of co-operation and pay-offs by the group.


The study of Casari from 2004 is a simulation study through genetic algorithms to measure the performance of the field institutions under the condition that the users are boundedly rational.


  • M. Lisciandra and M. Casari have an ongoing project on the inheritance systems for the transmission of the collective property rights. 
  • M. Casari and C. Tagliapietra have an ongoing project on the optimal group size in collective action (as from 2009). 
  • C. Tagliapietra is working on fission-fusion social systems in collective action, participation in homogeneous communities and community networks. Additionally he's working with a European Team on the research project "Common Rules. The regulation of institutions for managing commons in Europe 1100-1800" for the empirical analysis of longitudinal data on the regulation of the commons in the medieval and modern Europe.


  • Prof. Dr. Marco Casari (University of Bologna, Department of Economics)
  • Claudio Tagliapietra LL.M. (University of Bologna, Department of Economics)
  • Dr. Maurizio Lisciandra (University of messina, Department of Economics)

Funding body

University of Bologna, Department of Economics


Prof. dr. Marco Casari (University of Bologna, Department of Economics)

Contact details

Claudio Tagliapietra LL.M.


University of Bologna

Department of Economics

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