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Econometric modeling of fisheries with complex life histories: Avoiding biological management failures

  • Smith, Martin D.
  • Zhang, Junjie
  • Coleman, Felicia C.

Economics of the fishery has focused on the wastefulness of common pool resource exploitation. Pure open access fisheries dissipate economic rents and degrade biological stocks. Biologically managed fisheries also dissipate rents but are thought to hold biological stocks at desired levels. We develop and estimate an empirical bioeconomic model of the Gulf of Mexico gag fishery that questions the presumptive success of biological management. Unlike previous bioeconomic life history studies, we provide a way to circumvent calibration problems by embedding our estimation routine directly in the dynamic bioeconomic model. We nest a standard biological management model that accounts for complex life history characteristics of the gag. Biological intuition suggests that a spawning season closure will reduce fishing pressure and increase stocks, and simulations of the biological management model confirm this finding. However, simulations of the empirical bioeconomic model suggest that these intended outcomes of the spawning closure do not materialize. The behavioral response to the closure appears to be so pronounced that it offsets the restriction in allowable fishing days. Our results indicate that failure to account for fishing behavior may play an important role in fishery management failures.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 55 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 265-280

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:55:y:2008:i:3:p:265-280
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Homans, Frances R. & Wilen, James E., 1997. "A Model of Regulated Open Access Resource Use," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21, January.
  2. Johnson, Ronald N & Libecap, Gary D, 1982. "Contracting Problems and Regulation: The Case of the Fishery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1005-22, December.
  3. Matthew Turner & Quinn Weninger, 2005. "Meetings with Costly Participation: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 247-268.
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  5. Boyce, John R., 2004. "Instrument choice in a fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 183-206, January.
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  8. Smith, Martin D. & Wilen, James E., 2003. "Economic impacts of marine reserves: the importance of spatial behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-206, September.
  9. Karpoff, Jonathan M, 1987. "Suboptimal Controls in Common Resource Management: The Case of the Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 179-94, February.
  10. Bockstael, Nancy E. & Opaluch, James J., 1983. "Discrete modelling of supply response under uncertainty: The case of the fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 125-137, June.
  11. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
  12. Martin Smith & James Wilen, 2005. "Heterogeneous and Correlated Risk Preferences in Commercial Fishermen: The Perfect Storm Dilemma," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 53-71, July.
  13. Anthony Scott, 1955. "The Fishery: The Objectives of Sole Ownership," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 116.
  14. H�kan Eggert & Ragnar Tveteras, 2004. "Stochastic Production and Heterogeneous Risk Preferences: Commercial Fishers' Gear Choices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 199-212.
  15. 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.
  16. Massey, D. Matthew & Newbold, Stephen C. & Gentner, Brad, 2006. "Valuing water quality changes using a bioeconomic model of a coastal recreational fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 482-500, July.
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