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Game Theory and Fisheries


  • Rögnvaldur Hannesson

    () (Department of Economics, The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, N-5045 Bergen, Norway)


The literature on game theory and fisheries is reviewed, beginning with the initial papers from the late 1970s on cooperative and noncooperative games. Later developments considered repeated games and trigger strategies as well as the stability of coalitions. It is argued that the latter literature is overly pessimistic in that it does not pursue breakdown of successive coalitions to its ultimate end, which may provide a worse outcome than an apparently unstable coalition. The choice of strategic variable is considered at some length, but in the existing literature this choice is seldom explicitly motivated. Similarly, the spatial distribution of fish is seldom analyzed in the existing literature, but it could make a difference. This article looks at fishing in a common pool, fishing in separate pools with interacting substocks, and sequential fishing. Fishing on the high seas is discussed and the enforcement issue identified as an underresearched problem. Imperfect information on fish stocks and their migrations is also underresearched.

Suggested Citation

  • Rögnvaldur Hannesson, 2011. "Game Theory and Fisheries," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 181-202, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:3:y:2011:p:181-202

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    More about this item


    fisheries economics; high-seas fishing; cooperative games; noncooperative games; trigger strategies; repeated games;

    JEL classification:

    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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