, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 121-149

Rules and games

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This paper reconsiders the relationship between the rules of a game and its outcomes. We develop a notion of rule reform that leads to the selection of Pareto improved equilibria points. We then apply this notion to a series of naturally occurring fishing rules, including examples from Malaysia, India, Brazil, Turkey, and Canada. We show that reforming a game is conceptually akin to reforming an economy.

The authors are appreciative of the support provided by NSF Grant Number SES-8619498 and comments made on a prior draft by Elizabeth Anderson, Peter Aranson, Peter Bernholz, Werner Güth, Michael Maschler, Vincent Ostrom, Edella Schlager, Urs Schweitzer, Reinhard Selten, Kenneth Shepsle, S.Y. Tang, James Walker, and four anonymous referees.