Scott Barrett (2/15/17)

Scott Bsbarrettarrett

Columbia University

“Property Rights vs. Cooperative Agreements on the Global Ocean Commons”

Abstract: Collective action for managing the world’s ocean fisheries relies on two main types of institution, property rights (exclusive economic zones), which are established in customary law, and cooperative agreements (regional fisheries management organizations), which are established in treaty law. In this paper I develop a model in which both institutions emerge as equilibrium outcomes of an ocean fisheries game. I show that, as a general matter, both institutions help to limit overfishing of highly migratory stocks but that neither institution alone, nor both together, can suffice to overcome collective action failures on the global ocean commons. Full Paper