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Downward Adjustments in a Cyclical Environment: The Case of Chilean Pelagic Fisheries

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Often the scale of production of many industrial fisheries in the world shows rigidity vis à vis declines in fish abundance, which on occasions has generated fishing collapse. This paper studies the two fisheries with the greatest volume of landings in Chile, and which are also characterized by strong variability in their abundance. Production-side aspects that affect the incentives to adjust towards lower fishing efforts are analyzed. To do so, production functions for industrial fleets at each fishery are estimated by resorting to panel data. Two main results are obtained. First, we confirm the empirical relevance of Translog harvest technologies. This contradicts a frequent practice in bioeconomic models, which considers harvest-inputs elasticities as being constant and independent from the scale of production. Second, a set of production-side effects are identified that weaken the incentives to adjust towards lower fishing efforts: increasing returns in the use of variable inputs, which are also strengthened by external economies associated to the aggregate searching effort for fish, and catch yields sensitive to changes in abundance, but where the strength of this effect decreases as abundance declines.

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Paper provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its series ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers with number inv143.

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Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv143

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  1. Bhargava, A & Franzini, L & Narendranathan, W, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 533-49, October.
  2. Trond Bjorndal & Jon M. Conrad, 1987. "The Dynamics of an Open Access Fishery," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 74-85, February.
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  7. Trond Bjørndal, 1989. "Production in a Schooling Fishery: The Case of the North Sea Herring Fishery," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 49-56.
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  10. Smith, Vernon L, 1971. "Economics of Production from Natural Resources: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 488-91, June.
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  12. John Hartwick, 1979. "Free Access and the Dynamics of the Fishery," Working Papers 332, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Beddington, John R & Watts, C M K & Wright, W D C, 1975. "Optimal Cropping of Self-Reproducible Natural Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(4), pages 789-802, July.
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  15. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  16. Bjorndal, Trond, 1987. " Production Economics and Optimal Stock Size in a North Atlantic Fishery," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 145-64.
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  1. Socio-economics of Fisheries and Aquaculture

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