Marco Janssen

Marco Janssen
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Sustainability

PhD

About

321
Publications
165,798
Reads
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21,080
Citations
Introduction
Studies the governance and resilience of social-ecological systems using comparative case-study analysis, behavioral experiments and formal modeling. A social scientist using complex adaptive systems' perspective. Currently working on robustness of irrigation communities to climatic change and globalization, configurations of design principles as predictors of successful governance, modeling hunter-gather societies, modeling and analyzing online communities, measuring real-world impact of games.
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - present
Arizona State University
Position
  • Managing Director
August 2005 - present
Arizona State University
Description
  • Associate Professor in Modeling Social and Social-Ecological Systems
August 2005 - May 2015
Arizona State University
Position
  • Assistant/Associate Professor
Education
April 1992 - November 1996
Maastricht University
Field of study
  • Mathematical modeling of humans and the environment
September 1987 - March 1992
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Field of study
  • Econometrics and Operations Research

Publications

Publications (321)
Article
Full-text available
It is puzzling how altruistic punishment of defectors can evolve in large groups of nonrelatives, since punishers should voluntarily bear individual costs of punishing to benefit those who do not pay the costs. Although two distinct mechanisms have been proposed to explain the puzzle, namely voluntary participation and group-level competition and s...
Article
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Will you be able to run your computational models in the future? Even with well-documented code, this can be difficult due to changes in the software frameworks and operating systems that your code was built on. In this paper we discuss the use of containers to preserve code and their software dependencies to reproduce simulation results in the fut...
Article
Institutional structures can fundamentally shape opportunities for adaptive governance of water resources at multiple ecological and societal scales. The properties of adaptive governance have been widely examined in the literature. However, there has been limited focus on how institutions can promote or hinder the emergence of adaptive governance....
Article
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The extent to which employees change jobs, known as the job mobility rate, has been steadily declining in the US for decades. This decline is understood to have a negative impact on both productivity and wages, and econometric studies fail to support any single cause brought forward. This decline coincides with decreases in household savings, incre...
Article
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This study argues that environmental activists need to be better understood to bridge the gap between growing activism and policy. Conventional wisdom is that environmental activists generally support stronger climate policies. But there is still little understanding about diversity of views within activist groups when it comes to specific policies...
Article
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Faced with mounting resistance against mining, neoliberal governance resorts to polarising strategies that delegitimise the heterogenous positions people hold regarding mining. In this paper, we contrast and complicate these dichotomies with the lived experiences on the ground in Kyrgyzstan. We focus on the ‘Taldy-Bulak Levoberezhny’ gold mine near...
Article
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Conventional wisdom (rational choice theory) assumes that individuals are destined to collectively destroy vital ecological systems due to their narrow self-interest. In contrast, Humanistic Rational Choice Theory (HRCT) assumes individuals can cooperatively self-govern, devising effective conservation agreements and governance systems to constrain...
Article
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How do the social and ecological attributes of social-ecological systems enable outcomes of those systems? The high concentration of lake organizations in northern USA enables us to study social, institutional, and ecological attributes that correlate with performance of common pool resource governance—institutional fit. In the summer of 2019, we p...
Article
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Local users may invest in managing common pool resources, thereby promoting social and ecological resilience. Institutional or economic limits on access are regarded as essential preconditions for incentivizing local investments, but we show that investment incentives can exist even under open access. We modeled a recreational harvest fishery in wh...
Article
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Informal urban expansion, or conversion of land to urban land uses, outpaces formal urbanization in the developing world. Understanding why this informality exists and persists is essential to counteract characterizations that it is chaotic and ungovernable. This research examines who shapes the informal arrangements developed to meet unmet housing...
Article
What makes Question & Answer (Q&A) communities productive? In this paper, we look into how the diversity of behavioral types of agents impacts the performance of Q&A communities using different performance metrics. We do this by developing an agent-based model informed by insights from previous studies on Q&A communities. By analyzing the different...
Article
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Incorporating representations of human decision-making that are based on social science theories into social-ecological models is considered increasingly important – yet choosing and formalising a theory for a particular modelling context remains challenging. Here, we reflect on our experiences of selecting, formalising and documenting psychologica...
Article
Being able to replicate research results is the hallmark of science. Replication of research findings using computational models should, in principle, be possible. In this manuscript, we assess code sharing and model documentation practices of 7500 publications about individual-based and agent-based models. The code availability increased over the...
Article
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In this study, we discuss Port of Mars, a new experimental design to study collective action problems in extreme environments under conditions of high uncertainty. The game is situated in the first-generation habitat on Mars, providing an engaging narrative for players to navigate collective action problems. This pilot study finds that most groups...
Article
Two social feedbacks critical for redressing decline in organizational performance are exit (changing membership to a better performing organization) and voice (members' expression of discontent). In self-governing organizations of common-pool resources (CPRs) experiencing decline from poor rule conformance, the exit option is often unavailable due...
Article
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Tipping point dynamics are fundamental drivers for sustainable transition pathways of social-ecological systems (SES). Current research predominantly analyzes how crossing tipping points causes regime shifts, however, the analysis of potential transition pathways from these social and ecological tipping points is often overlooked. In this paper, we...
Article
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Modeling is essential to characterize and explore complex societal and environmental issues in systematic and collaborative ways. Socio-environmental systems (SES) modeling integrates knowledge and perspectives into conceptual and computational tools that explicitly recognize how human decisions affect the environment. Depending on the modeling pur...
Article
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The U.S. highway system is an iconic example of civil infrastructure. Yet it also exemplifies the challenges of infrastructure sustainability. The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the American road infrastructure a grade of “D” since the roads “are often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more...
Article
Human behaviour is of profound significance in shaping pathways towards sustainability. Yet, the approach to understanding human behaviour in many fields remains reliant on overly simplistic models. For a better understanding of the interface between human behaviour and sustainability, we take work in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology...
Article
The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain (PAP), when exposed, presented Middle Stone Age (MSA) foragers at Pinnacle Point (PP) on the South Coast of South Africa with new sources of raw materials to make stone tools. Sea-level fluctuations and the changing size of the Paleo-Agulhas Plain throughout the Pleistocene PP record ∼165 ka to 50 ka would have altered the...
Article
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The Palaeo-Agulhas Plain formed an important habitat exploited by Pleistocene hunter-gatherer populations during periods of lower sea level. This productive, grassy habitat would have supported numerous large-bodied ungulates accessible to a population of skilled hunters with the right hunting technology. It also provided a potentially rich locatio...
Conference Paper
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Rangelands in drylands are of critical importance for global sustainability and food security. They support the livelihoods of more than 2 billion people and cover 40% of the Earth, including 44% of cultivated areas, and constitute 50% of the world’s livestock production. Local institutions of many extensive grazing systems in drylands sustainably...
Article
Urban adaptation to climate change is likely to emerge from the responses of residents, authorities, and infrastructure providers to the impact of flooding, water scarcity, and other climate-related hazards. These responses are, in part, modulated by political relationships under cultural norms that dominate the institutional and collective decisio...
Article
More than 50 years ago biologist Garrett Hardin published his influential essay ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. In his essay, Hardin argued that in situations where people share resources, external intervention via governmental regulations or privatization of the resource is needed to avoid resource overexploitation. While the article is considered b...
Article
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We present here MEGADAPT (MEGAcity-ADAPTation), a hybrid, dynamic, spatially-explicit, integrated modeling approach to simulate the vulnerability of urban coupled socio-environmental systems – in our case, the vulnerability of Mexico City to socio-hydrological risk. Although vulnerability is widely understood to be influenced by human decision-maki...
Data
This model is an application of Brantingham’s neutral model to a real landscape with real locations of potential sources. The sources are represented as their sizes during current conditions, and from marine geophysics surveys, and the agent starts at a random location in Mossel Bay Region (MBR) surrounding the Archaeological Pinnacle Point (PP) lo...
Preprint
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Even a simple human foraging system has a large number of moving parts. Foragers require a complex decision making process to effectively exploit the spatially and temporally variable resources in an environment. Here we present an agent-based modelling framework, based in optimal foraging theory, for agent foragers to make mobility and foraging de...
Article
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We report on an art and sustainability project, inspired by sustainable living and by the work of Elinor Ostrom, in which the authors experienced a not-too-distant future of water scarcity in an isolated location in the Mojave Desert for four weeks. We restricted our water use to ≤ 15.1 L/day (4 gallons) water per person and consumed a water-wise v...
Article
Decision makers often have to act before critical times to avoid the collapse of ecosystems using knowledge that can be incomplete or biased. Adaptive management may help managers tackle such issues. However, because the knowledge infrastructure required for adaptive management may be mobilized in several ways, we study the quality and the quantity...
Article
Residents of Mexico City experience major hydrological risks, including flooding events and insufficient potable water access for many households. A participatory modeling project, MEGADAPT, examines hydrological risk as co-constructed by both biophysical and social factors and aims to explore alternative scenarios of governance. Within the model,...
Article
Maintaining safe operating spaces for exploited natural systems in the face of uncertainty is a key sustainability challenge. This challenge can be viewed as a problem in which human society must navigate in a limited space of acceptable futures in which humans enjoy sufficient well-being and avoid crossing planetary boundaries. A critical obstacle...
Article
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Groundwater is one of the most challenging common pool resources to govern, resulting in resource depletion in many areas. We present an innovative use of collective action games to not only measure propensity for cooperation, but to improve local understanding of groundwater interrelationships and stimulate collective governance of groundwater, ba...
Article
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The unprecedented use of Earth's resources by humans, in combination with increasing natural variability in natural processes over the past century, is affecting the evolution of the Earth system. To better understand natural processes and their potential future trajectories requires improved integration with and quantification of human processes....
Article
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The rapid environmental changes currently underway in many dry regions of the world, and the deep uncertainty about their consequences, underscore a critical challenge for sustainability: how to maintain cooperation that ensures the provision of natural resources when the benefits of cooperating are variable, sometimes uncertain, and often limited....
Conference Paper
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A basic tenet of the behavioural ecological approach to anthropology is that local ecology, the density and distribution of resources in time and space, determine optimal patterns of economic exploitation of resources. Those optimal foraging, mobility, and grouping patterns then constrain all other aspects of social behaviour, and interact with mat...
Article
The use of destructive fishing methods is a serious problem, especially for tropical and developing countries. Due to inter temporal nature of fisheries extraction activities, standard economic theory suggests that an individual's time preference can play a major role in determining the gear choice decision. Based on earlier theoretical work we ide...
Article
Social norms are the dominant behavioural patterns in a group that affect how people follow rules and regulations. A new modelling study shows, for different localities around the world, how the combination of biophysical context and social norms affects cooperation in water conservation.
Article
Full-text available
The unprecedented use of Earth's resources by humans, in combination with the increasing natural variability in natural processes over the past century, is affecting evolution of the Earth system. To better understand natural processes and their potential future trajectories requires improved integration with and quantification of human processes....
Article
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The planetary boundary framework constitutes an opportunity for decision makers to define climate policy through the lens of adaptive governance. Here, we use the DICE model to analyze the set of adaptive climate policies that comply with the two planetary boundaries related to climate change: (1) staying below a CO2 concentration of 550 ppm until...
Article
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Smallholder agricultural systems, strongly dependent on water resources and investments in shared infrastructure, make a significant contribution to food security in developing countries. These communities are being increasingly integrated into the global economy and are exposed to new global climate-related risks that may affect their willingness...
Article
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Improving urban resilience could help cities better cope with natural disasters, such as neighborhood flood events in Mexico City pictured here. Data source: Unidad Tormenta, Sistema de Aguas de la Ciudad de Mexico.
Article
Formal models are commonly used in natural resource management (NRM) to study human-environment interactions and inform policy making. In the majority of applications, human behaviour is represented by the rational actor model despite growing empirical evidence of its shortcomings in NRM contexts. While the importance of accounting for the complexi...
Article
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Social identities are among the key factors driving behavior in complex societies. Signals of social identity are known to influence individual behaviors in the adoption of innovations. Yet the population-level consequences of identity signaling on the diffusion of innovations are largely unknown. Here we use both analytical and agent-based modelin...
Article
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To evaluate the concern over the reproducibility of computational science, we reviewed 2367 journal articles on agent-based models published between 1990 and 2014 and documented the public availability of source code. The percentage of publications that make the model code available is about 10%. The percentages are similar for publications that ar...
Article
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149151.].
Data
Originally published, uncorrected article. (PDF)
Data
Republished, corrected article. (PDF)
Article
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We find that the flow of attention on the Web forms a directed, tree-like structure implying the time-sensitive browsing behavior of users. Using the data of a news sharing website, we construct clickstream networks in which nodes are news stories and edges represent the consecutive clicks between two stories. To identify the flow direction of clic...
Chapter
Using an empirically grounded model of hunter-gatherer foraging strategies we examine how different resource distributions affect optimal group size, movement frequency and average daily return rate per hunter. The total amount of resources in the environment remained the same, but was modified to contain more dispersed or more clumped resource dis...
Chapter
Changes in the frequency of stone tool raw materials are observed in stone age records across the world and throughout time. These are normally interpreted as showing important changes in human behavior. Brantingham (2003) proposes a neutral model to explain observed data on stone tool raw material procurement as an alternative to behavioral interp...
Article
Full-text available
Institutions, the rules of the game that shape repeated human interactions, clearly play a critical role in helping groups avoid the inefficient use of shared resources such as fisheries, freshwater, and the assimilative capacity of the environment. Institutions, however, are intimately intertwined with the human, social, and biophysical context wi...
Article
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On-going efforts to understand the dynamics of coupled social-ecological (or more broadly, coupled infrastructure) systems and common pool resources have led to the generation of numerous datasets based on a large number of case studies. This data has facilitated the identification of important factors and fundamental principles which increase our...