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The Tragedy of the Commons in a Fishery when Relative Performance Matters

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Author Info

  • Ngo Van Long

    (Department of Economics, McGill University)

  • Stephanie F. McWhinnie

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

This paper presents a simple model of a common access fishery where fishermen care about relative performance as well as absolute profits. Our specification captures the idea that status (which depends on relative performance) in a community infuences a person's well-being. We consider two alternative specifications of relative performance. In our first speci cation, relative performance is equated to relative after-tax profits. In our second specification, it is relative harvests that matter. We show that overharvesting resulting from the tragedy of the commons problem is exacerbated by the desire for higher relative performance, leading to a smaller steady-state fish stock and smaller steady-state profit for all the fishermen. We examine a tax package, consisting of a tax on relative profit and a tax on effort, and an individual quota as alternatives to implement the socially effcient equilibrium.

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File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2010-07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Adelaide, School of Economics in its series School of Economics Working Papers with number 2010-07.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2010-07

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Postal: Adelaide SA 5005
Phone: (618) 8303 5540
Web page: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/
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Keywords: relative income; relative performance; status; fishery; tragedy of the commons;

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References

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  3. McWhinnie, Stephanie F., 2009. "The tragedy of the commons in international fisheries: An empirical examination," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 321-333, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ngo Long, 2011. "Dynamic Games in the Economics of Natural Resources: A Survey," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 115-148, March.
  2. Sébastien Rouillon, 2014. "Do Social Status Seeking Behaviors Worsen the Tragedy of the Commons?," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 73-94, March.

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