Interest-based Negotiation over Natural Resources: Experimental Evidence from Liberia


We use a randomized control trial to study whether an interest-based negotiation (IBN) training for community leaders in Liberia improves their ability to strike beneficial deals related to their land and forests. We use environmental assessments, lab-in-the-field, and surveys and find that trainees are 27% more likely to reach a beneficial agreement, and when they conclude deals, their payoffs are 37% larger. Our mediation analysis and structural estimates both indicate that the IBN training increases trainees’ capacity to identify valuable deals, but does not improve their appraisal of their outside option. We also document a reduction (0.27 standard deviations) in the exploitation of communal forestland in communities where leaders received the IBN training.

Working Paper
Darin Christensen
Darin Christensen
Associate Professor of Public Policy & Political Science

Political scientist interested in conflict and development.