Spatial regulations and endogenous consideration sets in fisheries
The implementation of spatial regulations has become a mainstay in fisheries management. These regulations have generated a sizable economics literature focused on the spatial behavior of fishermen. Fundamental to these studies is the consideration set (spatial alternatives) assumed by the researcher to be possessed by the decision agent. Often times this consideration set is assumed to be the entire spatial extent of the fishery. This research proposes the use of finite mixture modeling to endogenously estimate the formation of consideration sets and the method is applied to a unique spatial decision environment, the Atka mackerel fishery in the Aleutian Islands. Consideration sets are modeled using different macro-definitions of spatial regions to focus the micro-level spatial decision making within the fishery and to investigate the sensitivity of the results to alternative macro-level spatial definitions. Results illustrate the biases associated with traditional consideration set assumptions by estimating fishermen's valuations for different high-value sites within the Aleutian Islands under alternative consideration set assumptions. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how a model that assumes some structure on potential consideration sets reduces the dimensionality problems associated with other endogenous approaches to choice set definition.
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