IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulating Renewable Resources under Uncertainty


  • Lars Gårn Hansen

    () (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)


Renewable natural resources (like water, fish and wildlife stocks, forests and grazing lands) are critical for the livelihood of millions of people and understanding how they can be managed efficiently is an important economic problem. I show how regulator uncertainty about different economic and ecological parts of the harvesting system affect the optimal choice of instrument for regulating harvesters. I bring prior results into a unified framework and add to these by showing that: 1) quotas are preferred under ecological uncertainty if there are substantial diseconomies of scale in harvesting, 2) that a pro-quota result under uncertainty about prices and marginal costs is unlikely, requiring that the resource growth function is highly concave locally around the optimum and, 3) that quotas are always preferred if uncertainly about underlying structural economic parameters dominates. These results showing that quotas are preferred in a number of situations qualify the pro fee message dominating prior studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Gårn Hansen, 2012. "Regulating Renewable Resources under Uncertainty," IFRO Working Paper 2012/3, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2012_3

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Weitzman, Martin L., 2002. "Landing Fees vs Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 325-338, March.
    2. Lars Gårn Hansen, 2008. "Prices versus Quantities in Fisheries Models: Comment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(4), pages 708-711.
    3. Lars G. Hansen & Frank Jensen & Clifford Russell, 2008. "The Choice of Regulatory Instrument When There Is Uncertainty About Compliance with Fisheries Regulations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1130-1142.
    4. Frank Jensen & Niels Vestergaard, 2003. "Prices versus Quantities in Fisheries Models," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(3), pages 415-425.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Frank Jensen & Lars Gårn Hansen, 2017. "The welfare gain from switching to tax regulation of fisheries," IFRO Working Paper 2017/07, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.

    More about this item


    Prices vs. quantities; renewable resource regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2012_3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geir Tveit). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.