Tipping and strong rarity value in a stochastic fishery game

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Strong rarity value is the phenomenon that an increase in scarcity of a species (of plants or animals) leads to a price increase which more than compensates increased search costs and lower numbers found or caught. Tipping here is a regime shift moving the system into a low resource-level state from which it is impossible to escape unless measures to restore the resource are taken for a long period of time. We engineer a model in which agents wishing to maximize their limiting average rewards have two choices at every stage of the play, restraint or no-restraint (“overfish”). Overfishing damages the resource, causes tipping and induces scarcity which in turn creates rarity value. We find that Pareto-efficient equilibrium outcomes for very patient agents may require substantial overexploitation of the resource inducing serious threats to its sustainability. However, equilibrium behavior yields a sufficiently rich scheme of outcomes that leave room for viable compromises between ecologically and economically maximalistic policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2340001
JournalInternational game theory review
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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