Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 9 > Issue 3

Risk Perceptions in Fisheries and the Non-Bayesian Learning Process

Akbar Marvasti, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, USA,
Suggested Citation
Akbar Marvasti (2022), "Risk Perceptions in Fisheries and the Non-Bayesian Learning Process", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 9: No. 3, pp 263-292.

Publication Date: 26 Sep 2022
© 2022 A. Marvasti
Behavioral Economics,  Psychology,  Behavioral Decision Making,  Bayesian Models
JEL Codes: J2, C11, K2, Q2
Risk perceptionBayesian learningrational learningcommercial fishing


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Risk Perception Literature Review 
3. Risk Perception Formation: Evidence from the Maine Lobster Fishery 
4. Empirical Model 
5. Results 
6. Conclusions 


This study examines the rationality of safety beliefs and the correlation between risk perception and actual level of job-related physical risk using data from the Maine’s American lobster fishery. To avoid measurement errors, I applied the instrumental variables to estimate risk perception and the compensation for the captain. Using educational achievement as a proxy for cognitive ability, I find no evidence supporting a correlation between risk perception and cognitive ability. While captains incorporate information on actual commercial fishing accidents to form their probabilistic judgments, I find evidence that the learning process is non-linear in lobster fishery and does not follow an expected Bayesian linear framework. Also, the results suggest that the adjustment process slows down as the new information arrives. I could not confirm that fishermen use normalization strategy to minimize risk perception as a psychological method of coping with the threat.