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Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence from South African Fishing Communities

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  • Kerri Brick
  • Martine Visser
  • Justine Burns

Abstract

We estimate the risk attitudes of a large sample of small-scale fishers from various fishing communities along the west coast of South Africa, using subjects’ choices over lotteries with real monetary prizes. We find that participants are moderately risk averse and that risk attitudes vary with certain socio-demographic variables. In particular, females are found to be more risk averse than their male counterparts, while quota holders are more risk loving. Logistic regression analysis indicates that risk attitudes have implications for non-compliance with fisheries regulation. Specifically, greater risk aversion translates into a reduction in the odds of catching illegally. Furthermore, in the case of gender, female fishers and female fishers with fishing rights are more likely to comply with fisheries regulation. These findings have important implications for the characterisation of risk attitudes in fisheries policy applications and for the management of marine resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerri Brick & Martine Visser & Justine Burns, 2011. "Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence from South African Fishing Communities," Working Papers 227, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:227
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    Keywords

    risk attitudes risk aversion experiments fishing rights compliance and South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery

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