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Efficiency Advantages of Grandfathering in Rights-Based Fisheries Management

  • Terry L. Anderson
  • Ragnar Arnason
  • Gary D. Libecap

We show that grandfathering fishing rights to local users or recognizing first possessions is more dynamically efficient than auctions of such rights. It is often argued that auctions allocate rights to the highest-valued users and thereby maximize resource rents. We counter that rents are not fixed in situ, but rather depend additionally upon the innovation, investment, and collective actions of fishers, who discover and enhance stocks and convert them into valuable goods and services. Our analysis shows how grandfathering increases rents by raising expected rates of return for investment, lowering the cost of capital, and providing incentives for collective action.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16519.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Publication status: published as “Efficiency Advantages of Grandfathering in Rights-Based Fisheries Management,” Terry Anderson, Ragnar Arnason, and Gary D. Libecap, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2011.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16519
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