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Voodoo versus fishing committees: The role of traditional and contemporary institutions in fisheries management

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  • Briones Alonso, Elena
  • Houssa, Romain
  • Verpoorten, Marijke

Abstract

We study the co-existence of two community-based institutions for fisheries management in Benin: a traditional institution embedded in the Voodoo religion and a recent secular institution in the form of fishing committees. Using household survey data on fishing activities, we find that rules of both institutions have a statistically significant but small impact on the use of unsustainable fishing gear. We further find that Voodoo fishers who break the traditional Voodoo-based rule follow the fishing committee rule to the same extent as other fishers. This finding is consistent with a possible transition from the traditional Voodoo-based institution to the secular fishing committee institution. More research is needed to fully assess the effectiveness of, and interactions between, the two institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Briones Alonso, Elena & Houssa, Romain & Verpoorten, Marijke, 2016. "Voodoo versus fishing committees: The role of traditional and contemporary institutions in fisheries management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 61-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:122:y:2016:i:c:p:61-70
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.11.024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
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    3. Stoop, Nik & Houssa, Romain & Verpoorten, Marijke, 2016. "To fish or not to fish? Resource degradation and income diversification in Benin," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(05), pages 669-689, October.
    4. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
    5. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    6. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    7. Emily Oster, 2013. "Unobservable Selection and Coefficient Stability: Theory and Validation," NBER Working Papers 19054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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