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On the Enforcement of Territorial Use Rights Regulations: A Game Theoretic Approach


  • Mauricio G. Villena

    (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile)

  • Carlos A. Chávez

    (Universidad de Concepción, Chile)


Territorial Use Rights (commonly known as TURFs in the literature) consists in the allocation of fishing rights to individuals and/or groups to fish in certain geographical locations. A requisite for these communities to be granted fishing rights is the formulation of a management and exploitation plan (MEP). While thus far the literature on TURFs has been centred on the biological and technical aspects of it, to our knowledge there is no work squarely dealing with the issue of enforcement of the MEP that the community, once granted the fishing use rights, have to comply with. We formally explore this issue from an economic perspective by formulating a static game of norm compliance in a regime of common property resource exploitation. The key characteristic of this game is a monitoring and sanctioning mechanism, where fishermen monitor and sanction one another. We found that in the absence of any endogenous regulation from the part of the fishing community, TURFs can not avoid the economic overexploitation of the fishery. We discuss the importance of economic incentives (and disincentives) in the formulation of endogenous regulations aimed at ensuring compliance of the MEP. Our results on the relevance of economic incentives in the context of a TURF regulation can also be used to highlight the importance of less conventional enforcement tools.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio G. Villena & Carlos A. Chávez, 2005. "On the Enforcement of Territorial Use Rights Regulations: A Game Theoretic Approach," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 6(1), pages 1-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:anp:econom:v:6:y:2005:i:1:p:1-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casari, Marco & Plott, Charles R., 2003. "Decentralized management of common property resources: experiments with a centuries-old institution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 217-247, June.
    2. Yukihiko Funaki & Takehiko Yamato, 1999. "The core of an economy with a common pool resource: A partition function form approach," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 28(2), pages 157-171.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oscar Santis & Carlos Chávez, 2014. "Extraction of natural resources in contexts of abundance and scarcity: An experimental analysis on non-compliance with quotas in management and exploitation areas of benthic resources in central-south," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 41(1 Year 20), pages 89-123, June.

    More about this item


    Territorial Use Rights; Enforcement; Game Theory; Chile;

    JEL classification:

    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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