The tragedy of (anti-)commons: The case of prey-predator fisheries

CIRED Seminar: Agnes Tomini (AMSE)

The tragedy of (anti-)commons: The case of prey-predator fisheries

Agnes Tomini (AMSE)


We examine the efficiency and the environmental consequences of assigning species-specific property rights, considering a Lotka-Volterra model where the fisheries are thus specialized in the harvesting of a single species. We show that the fragmentation of the ecosystem implies the Tragedy of Anticommons. Contrasting the private interest to the socially-optimal solution, we demonstrate that the stock of one species is too high, while the stock of the second species is too low under private property rights. What is a puzzling result is we get that the “abundant” species is prone to underuse, but the scare species does not necessarily suffer from over-exploitation. Biological interactions are consequently the main driver of stock depletion. Finally, we analyze how to manage the tragedy of anticommons.

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