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Rent-Seeking and Incentives for Compliance in the Commons


  • Jorge Holzer
  • Douglas Lipton
  • Olivier François


This article studies how rent-seeking behavior induces an informal leasing market for fishing licenses that leads harvesters in a common pool to circumvent rules set by the manager to conserve the resource, as well as how the vulnerability of the resource to such behavior depends on the management approach adopted. License leasing reduces fleet heterogeneity in terms of catch per unit effort as demonstrated by the outward shift in the stochastic production frontier. While aggregate harvest is invariant to alternative profiles of fleet heterogeneity in quota-managed fisheries, the productivity of the restricted variable--total effort--increases with the number of leasing contracts in input-controlled fisheries. If unanticipated by the regulator, the additional pressure on the resource may lead to overfishing and compromise the long-term viability of the industry. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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  • Jorge Holzer & Douglas Lipton & Olivier François, 2013. "Rent-Seeking and Incentives for Compliance in the Commons," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(1), pages 117-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:95:y:2013:i:1:p:117-130

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zdenko Stefanides & Loren W. Tauer, 1999. "The Empirical Impact of Bovine Somatotropin on a Group of New York Dairy Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 95-102.
    2. Tauer, Loren W. & Kaiser, Harry M., 1988. "Negative Milk Supply Response Under Constrained Profit Maximizing Behavior," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 17(2), October.
    3. Kinnucan, Henry & Hatch, Upton & Molnar, Joseph J. & Venkateswaran, Meenakshi, 1990. "Scale Neutrality of Bovine Somatotropin: Ex Ante Evidence from the Southeast," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 1-12, December.
    4. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
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