Bioeconomic factors of natural resource transitions: The US sperm whale fishery of the 19th century
This paper uses bio-economic modeling and simulation to investigate the de-mise of the sperm whale industry in the mid-19th century. Petroleum is widely credited both contemporaneously and today with ‘saving the whales.’ We in-vestigate the transition in illumination technologies from whale oil to petroleum as a stochastic dynamic process in which there is uncertainty over the parameters of the fishery and the timing of available substitutes for sperm oil in order to determine the effect on the whale population. Using new biological analysis of the sperm whale fishery (Whitehead, 2002) and insights from natural resource economics we show that under most economic conditions the dynamics, even without a substitute, would have prevented extinction; this result is notably different, for economic and biological reasons, than that usually determined for the better studied baleen whales. This research builds on a long history of understanding the whale fisheries, particularly Davis et al. (1988) and related work, integrating new scientific and economic evidence.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg|
Phone: (+45) 6550 1000
Fax: (+45) 6550 1091
Web page: http://www.sam.sdu.dk/ime
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sdk:wpaper:116. 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: (Ulla H. Oehlenschläger)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.