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Multi-Market Trading for Cooperative Resource Management: An Application to Water Pollution and Fisheries


  • Horan, Richard D.
  • Shortle, James S.


Increasingly, environmental problems are recognized to involve linkages across multiple environmental variables (e.g., pollution and a fishery). Prior work on managing these complex, linked systems generally focuses on efficiency rather than implementation. However, implementation is important and will generally involve changing human behaviors within the multiple economic sectors that impact upon the multiple environmental variables. Tradable permit markets are generally seen as a coordinating mechanism, within a particular regulated sector, that enhances efficiency by incentivizing agents to respond to behavioral choices of others within the sector. However, prior work stops short of coordinating behaviors across multiple sectors for cases where society benefits from regulation in both sectors and one sector harms the other. We analyze a multi-sector permit market involving both the externality-generating sector and the affected sector. This multi-sector market provides a mechanism for agents in one sector to respond to environmental behaviors made within the other sector. Moreover, unlike traditional permit markets in which the regulated externality sector incurs only costs, we show that the multi-sector market generates efficiency gains that may be redistributed using appropriate allocations of initial endowments. Accordingly, the multi-sector market may generate gains that benefit both sectors, resulting in a win-win outcome for both sectors. We use a simple example of a polluted fishery to illustrate the approach.

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  • Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S., 2011. "Multi-Market Trading for Cooperative Resource Management: An Application to Water Pollution and Fisheries," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103591, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103591
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.103591

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    Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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