IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

ITQ’s in Chile: Measuring the Economic Benefits of Reform


  • Patricio Barría
  • Andrés Goméz-Lobo Echeñique
  • Julio Peña-Torres


In 2001 an individual (operationally transferable) quota system was introduced for all the most important industrial fisheries in Chile. This system was put in place after years of declining stocks and over investment. In this paper we describe this reform and estimate related allocative efficiency benefits for the most important industrial fishery in the country, the southern pelagic fishery. Benefits were estimated using a bioeconomic model and Monte Carlo techniques. This approach allows benefits to be estimated using more realistic counterfactual scenarios than just comparing the fishery before and after the reform. Estimated discounted net benefits reach US$123 to US$366 million in the period 2001 to 2020. Fleet size fell from 148 active boats in 2000 to 65 in 2002 as a direct consequence of the reform. Among the interesting features of the recent Chilean experience is the way the political economy of the reform was facilitated by the prior introduction of de facto individual quotas within the framework of fishery research activities. When the authorities closed the southern pelagic fishery because of biological problems between 1997 and 2000, they organized ‘experimental’ fishing expeditions in which participant boats were given the right to fish a certain amount of resources per expedition. This pseudo quota system allowed fishermen to experience directly the benefits of individual quotas and that was instrumental to the political agreement leading to the reform. This successful gradual approach may be of interest to other countries planning to introduce individual quotas. Finally, it is important to note that the Chilean southern industrial pelagic fishery has average catches of over 1.4 million tons a year, making it one of the largest fisheries in the world to be regulated by individual quotas.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricio Barría & Andrés Goméz-Lobo Echeñique & Julio Peña-Torres, 2007. "ITQ’s in Chile: Measuring the Economic Benefits of Reform," Working Papers wp258, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp258

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peña-Torres, Julio & Vergara, Sebastián & Basch, Michael, 2004. "El dilema de la escala productiva frente a ciclos de abundancia. La pesca industrial en Chile," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(283), pages 575-612, julio-sep.
    2. Julio Peña & Michael Basch & Sebastián Vergara, 2003. "Eficiencia Técnica y Escalas de Operación en Pesca Pelágica: Un Análisis de Fronteras Estocásticas," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(119), pages 47-87.
    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. Sigbjorn Tveteras & Carlos Paredes & Julio Peña, 2011. "Individual Fishing Quotas in Peru: Stopping the Race for Anchovies," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv263, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    2. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0017-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vincent Martinet & Michel de Lara & Julio Peña & Héctor Ramirez, 2010. "Evaluation of Management Procedures: Application to Chilean Jack Mackerel Fishery," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv255, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    4. Vincent Martinet & Julio Peña-Torres & Michel Lara & Hector Ramírez C., 2016. "Risk and Sustainability: Assessing Fishery Management Strategies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 683-707, August.
    5. Vincent Martinet & Michel de Lara & Julio Peña & Héctor Ramirez, 2012. "Risk and Sustainability: Assessing Fisheries Management Strategies," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv276, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
    6. José-María Da-Rocha & Jaume Sempere, 2017. "ITQs, Firm Dynamics and Wealth Distribution: Does Full Tradability Increase Inequality?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(2), pages 249-273, October.
    7. Hospital, Justin & Beavers, Courtney, 2014. "Catch shares and the main Hawaiian Islands bottomfish fishery: Linking fishery conditions and fisher perceptions," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 9-17.

    More about this item


    Bioeconomic model; pelagic fisheries; individual transferable quotas;

    JEL classification:

    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery


    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:udc:wpaper:wp258. 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: (Mohit Karnani). 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.