International fisheries agreements: A game theoretical approach

Pintassilgo, P., L. Kronbak, M. Lindroos (2015), "International fisheries agreements: A game theoretical approach", Environmental & Resource Economics, 62(4), 689-709.

This paper surveys the application of game theory to the economic analysis of international fisheries agreements. The relevance of this study comes not only from the existence of a vast literature on the topic but especially from the specific features of these agreements. The emphasis of the survey is on coalition games, an approach that has become prominent in the fisheries economics literature over the last decade. It is shown that coalition games were first applied to international fisheries agreements in the late 1990s addressing cooperative issues under the framework of characteristic function games. Then, progressively, this cooperative approach was combined with non-cooperative elements such as the stability analysis of the agreements. Finally, partition function games, which model coalition formation endogenously, were introduced and became the standard approach to study the formation and stability of international fisheries agreements. A key message that emerges from this literature strand is that self-enforcing cooperative management of internationally shared fish stocks is generally difficult to achieve. Hence, the international legal framework and regulations play a decisive role on ensuring cooperation over the use of these resources.