Can the Threat of Economic Sanctions Ensure the Sustainability of International Fisheries? An Experiment of a Dynamic Non-cooperative CPR Game with Uncertain Tipping Point

Type Article
Date 2020-05
Language English
Author(s) Selles Jules1, 3, Bonhommeau SylvainORCID2, Guillotreau Patrice3, Vallee Thomas3
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la MER), UMR MARBEC, Avenue Jean 9 Monnet, 7 BP171, 34203 Sète Cedex, France.
2 : IFREMER, Délégation de l’Océan Indien, Rue Jean Bertho, BP 60, 97822, Le Port Cedex, France
3 : LEMNA, Université de Nantes, IEMN-IAE, Chemin de la Censive-du-Tertre, BP 52231, 44322, Nantes Cedex, France
Source Environmental & Resource Economics (0924-6460) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-05 , Vol. 76 , N. 1 , P. 153-176
DOI 10.1007/s10640-020-00419-y
Keyword(s) Common-pool resources, Experimental economics, Fisheries management, International fisheries, Policy making, Tipping points
Abstract

Complex dynamic systems such as common-pool resource systems can undergo a critical shift at a given threshold, the so-called tipping point, which potentially requires substantial changes from the management system. We present in this research a framed laboratory experiment design to examine how the threat of economic sanctions influences the strategic management of a common-pool resource. We use the context of the East Atlantic bluefin tuna international fishery as it has been the archetype of an overfished and mismanaged fishery until a dramatic reinforcement of its regulations followed the threat of a trade ban. We consider endogenous threats and examine their effects on cooperation through harvest decisions taken in the context of non-cooperative game theory in which cooperation could be sustained using a trigger strategy. Our experiment results show that the threat of economic sanctions fosters more cooperative behaviors, less over-exploitation, and a more precautionary management of resources, reducing the economic rent dissipation. This result is exacerbated when the location of the tipping point that triggers the economic sanction is uncertain. In order to avoid free-riding behaviors and foster the emergence of a self-enforcing agreement, we suggest to introduce economic sanctions, such as trade restrictions, associated with uncertain biological limit reference points.

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Selles Jules, Bonhommeau Sylvain, Guillotreau Patrice, Vallee Thomas (2020). Can the Threat of Economic Sanctions Ensure the Sustainability of International Fisheries? An Experiment of a Dynamic Non-cooperative CPR Game with Uncertain Tipping Point. Environmental & Resource Economics, 76(1), 153-176. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-020-00419-y , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00623/73488/