Restricted capacity and rent dissipation in a regulated open access fishery
A common strategy for limiting the total annual catch in a fishery is to restrict entry and season length. We examine the results of this strategy when entry limitation amounts to a limit on capital, but fishing firms can vary an unrestricted input, and thereby use the restricted input more intensively. Under these regulatory constraints, fishing firms will earn rents that depend on the elasticity of substitution between restricted and unrestricted inputs. Using simulations with data from the Alaskan pollock fishery, rents and season length are shown to depend on fish and variable input prices, sometimes in surprisingly non-monotonic ways.
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