Pirates and fishermen: Is less patrolling always bad?

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, ISSN: 0167-2681, Vol: 81, Issue: 1, Page: 29-38

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GUHA, Brishti
Elsevier BV; Elsevier
Business, Management and Accounting; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Pirates; Fishermen; Patrolling; Multiple equilibria; Policy responses; Pirates; Fishermen; Patrolling; Multiple equilibria; Policy responses;; Basic or Discovery Scholarship; Behavioral Economics; Applied Microeconomics
article description
Motivated by the Somali fishermen–pirates, I explore the time allocation decision of potential pirates between piracy and an alternative non-violent occupation, fishing, when the returns of both piracy and fishing are sensitive to patrolling intensity. For a range of parameters, the static model yields multiple equilibria, an “efficient” one with no patrolling and low piracy, a less efficient equilibrium with intermediate levels of both piracy and patrolling and a highly inefficient high-patrolling high-piracy equilibrium. Analyzing the dynamic analogue, I obtain the surprising result that sufficiently low patrolling can be a good strategy.