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Saving the Whales: Lessons from the Extinction of the Eastern Arctic Bowhead

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  • ALLEN, ROBERT C.
  • KEAY, IAN

Abstract

In this article we investigate the possibility that a regulatory regime designed to maximize the profitability of the early Dutch whaling industry could have simultaneously guaranteed the biological sustainability of the eastern Arctic Bowhead whale. We find that policies with economic profit as the sole objective could have saved the whales, as well as increasing the incomes of the whalers, under assumptions commonly made in fisheries models. However, the necessary assumptions are implausible. Under more historically relevant assumptions we find that regulation could not have simultaneously increased profits and preserved the stock of whales.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Pages: 400-432

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:02:p:400-432_00

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Cited by:
  1. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2009. "Pet Overpopulation: An Economic Analysis," Working Papers 09-10, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. Eric Hilt, 2006. "The Negative Trade-off Between Risk and Incentives: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry," NBER Working Papers 11960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. M. Scott Taylor, 2011. "Buffalo Hunt: International Trade and the Virtual Extinction of the North American Bison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3162-95, December.

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