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Fisheries and the Prisoner's Dilemma Game: Conditions for the Evolution of Cooperation among Users of Common Property Resources

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Berkes, Fikret; Kence, Aykut
Date: 1987
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): fisheries
game theory
prisoner's dilemma
tragedy of the commons--models
Abstract: "Recent studies using Prisoner's Dilemma framework have led to a theory of cooperation based on repeated encounters and the development of reciprocity. The theory is applicable to a diversity of disciplines and has implications fort he use of common property resources such as fisheries, i.e. what are the conditions under which the users of a fishery resource will cooperate to avoid, what some consider, the inevitable 'tragedy of the commons'? The Prisoner's Dilemma approach helps formalize some of the recent theoretical developments on conditions of successful common property use. In particular, it offers insights regarding the importance of probability of encounter among users, development of reciprocal relations among them, the number of users in an area and the degree of crowding, heterogeneity of user groups, the importance of local residency, and the supply-demand characteristics of the resource."

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