We derive a dynamic theoretical model of renewable resource extraction. In the social optimum, maximum extraction occurs in the last period only, while in the unique subgame perfect Nash equilibrium, the resource is depleted immediately. The predictions are tested in a field experiment conducted at a recreational fishing pond. The subjects, experienced recreational fishermen, face a dynamic social dilemma, in which they risk depletion of the resource by overfishing. We find strong support for the Nash equilibrium. Fishermen exert as much effort in the last period as in preceding periods, and effort is independent of the stock of fish.
- Cooperative games
- Field experiments
- Renewable resources and conservation