Chris Anderson

  • Professor, SAFS

Research areas

As the first Fisheries Economist at SAFS, I address the role that economics plays in developing effective management for aquatic and fishery resources. Identifying and achieving management goals for complex human-natural systems requires appreciating how people will respond to changes in management and in their environment – questions that economic tools are designed to address. I participate directly in management through membership on the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

I became an economist because I am broadly curious about decision making in environments that induce strategic behavior that leads to negative individual or aggregate outcomes. I see economics as a behavioral science, and I am especially interested in cases where systematically suboptimal individual decisions exacerbate bad outcomes or can be leveraged to ameliorate them. I rely on game theory, behavioral economics, experimental economics and maximum-likelihood panel and latent class econometrics to build and test models. While my work spans a wide range of applications, fisheries and coastal issues emerge as consistent themes. My recent work is dominated by questions related to the design of fishery management institutions, especially those based on individual or community rights systems. I am interested in how to design these schemes for different objectives and environments, how people behave within these environments, and how they will evolve over time.

You can find additional information on some of my projects at:

Prospective students may email me if they are interested in working with me.


Areas of Expertise

  • Fisheries management
  • Behavioral economics
  • Game theory
  • Panel econometrics

Selected publications

  • Scheld, A., C. Anderson and H Uchida.  2012.  The Economic Effects of Catch Shares: The Rhode Island Fluke Sector Pilot Program.  Marine Resource Economics 27(3):203-28.

  • Anderson, J., C. Anderson, J. Chu, J. Meredith, F. Asche et al.  2015.  The Fishery Performance Indicators: A Management Tool for Triple Bottom Line OutcomesPLoS ONE 10(5): e0122809. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122809

  • McCluney, J., C. Anderson and J. Anderson. 2019. The Fishery Performance Indicators for Global Tuna Fisheries. Nature Communications 10:1641.

  • Wang, J., C. Anderson, C. Cunningham, R. Hilborn and M. Link. 2019. Does More Fish Mean More Money? Evaluating Alternative Escapement Goals in the Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery. Canadian Journal of Fishery and Aquatic Sciences. 76(1): 53-67.

  • Anderson, C., M. Krigbaum, M. Arostegui, M. Feddern, J.Z. Koehn, P. Kuriyama, C. Morrisett, C. Allen Akselrud, M. Davis, C. Fiamengo, A. Fuller, Q. Lee, K. McElroy, M. Pons, and J. Sanders. 2018. How Commercial Fishing Effort is Managed. Fish and Fisheries. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12339.