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Pirates and fishermen: Is less patrolling always bad?


  • Guha, Brishti


Motivated by the Somali fishermen–pirates, I explore the time allocation decision of potential pirates between piracy and an alternative non-violent occupation, fishing, when the returns of both piracy and fishing are sensitive to patrolling intensity. For a range of parameters, the static model yields multiple equilibria, an “efficient” one with no patrolling and low piracy, a less efficient equilibrium with intermediate levels of both piracy and patrolling and a highly inefficient high-patrolling high-piracy equilibrium. Analyzing the dynamic analogue, I obtain the surprising result that sufficiently low patrolling can be a good strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Guha, Brishti, 2012. "Pirates and fishermen: Is less patrolling always bad?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 29-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:29-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.09.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Miceli, Thomas J., 2010. "A model of criminal sanctions that incorporate both deterrence and incapacitation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 205-207, May.
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    8. Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
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    10. Leeson, Peter T., 2010. "Pirational choice: The economics of infamous pirate practices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 497-510, December.
    11. Juin-Jen Chang & Huei-Chung Lu & Mingshen Chen, 2005. "Organized Crime or Individual Crime? Endogenous Size of a Criminal Organization and the Optimal Law Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 661-675, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Éric Darmon & Thomas Le Texier, 2014. "Private or Public Law Enforcement? The Case of Digital Piracy Policies with Non-monitored Illegal Behaviors," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201403, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Jacques Pelletan, 2013. "Knowledge society and crime: an ambiguous relation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 1852-1862.

    More about this item


    Pirates; Fishermen; Patrolling; Multiple equilibria; Policy responses;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General


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