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What policy measures are effective in redistributing essential resources during crisis situations such as climate change impacts? We model a collective action institution with different rules for designing and organizing it, and make our analysis specific to various societal contexts.
Our model captures a generic societal context of unequal vulnerability and climate change impact in a stylized form. We represent a community of people who harvest and consume an essential resource to maintain their well-being. However, their ability to harvest the resource is not equal; people are characterized by a ‘resource access’ attribute whose values are uniformly distributed from 0 to 1 in the population. A person’s resource access value determines the amount of resource units they are able to harvest, and therefore the welfare levels they are able to attain. People travel to the centralized resource region and derive well-being or welfare, represented as an energy gain, by harvesting and consuming resource units.
The community is subject to a climate change impact event that occurs with a certain periodicity and over a certain duration. The capacity of resource units to regenerate diminishes during the impact events. Unequal capacities to access the essential resource results in unequal vulnerability among people with regards to their ability to maintain a sufficient welfare level, especially during impact events.