Implicit discount rates and fisheries management: is there a relationship?
Fishers are faced with multiple risks, including unpredictability of future catch rates, prices and costs. While the latter are largely beyond the control of fisheries managers, effective fisheries management should reduce uncertainty about future catches. Different management instruments are likely to have different impacts on the risk perception of fishers, and this should manifest itself in their implicit discount rate. Assuming licence and quota values represent the net present value of the flow of expected future profits, then a proxy for the implicit discount rate of vessels in a fishery can be derived by the ratio of the average level of profits to the average licence/quota value. From this, an indication of the risk perception can be derived, assuming higher discount rates reflect higher levels of systematic risk. In this paper, we apply the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) to determine the risk premium implicit in the discount rates for a range of Australian fisheries, and compare this with the set of management instruments in place. We test the assumption that rights based management instruments lower perceptions of risk in fisheries. We find little evidence to support this assumption, although the analysis was based on only limited data.
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