Selected Empirical Analyses
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Phoebe Koundouri
Chapter 15: Estimation of resource management objectives through empirical likelihood: can regulatory policies and economic optimization be reconciled?
Marita Laukkanen Starting with Gordon’s seminal paper (1954) economists have been concerned about open access to ﬁsheries resulting in dissipation of economic rents. Economics literature has proposed sole owner ﬁsheries management as an alternative that produces socially optimal harvest levels.1 The declaration of 200-mile zones of extended ﬁsheries jurisdiction in 1976 made explicit ﬁsheries management reality, in that most important ﬁsheries were brought under the authority of adjacent coastal nations. Management authority has generally been given to government agencies or intergovernmental organizations. While economists have been inﬂuential in introducing socioeconomic goals into ﬁsheries management, much of real world ﬁsheries policy continues to emphasize biological goals and short-term political considerations. From an economic point of view conservative concern for stock safety may result in building up stocks that are more than economically optimal. Stressing proﬁts that are forgone during stock recovery, on the other hand, may mean conserving less than would be optimal. Economic analysis of regulatory impact has largely focused on how regulations should be constructed in order to steer ﬁsheries toward the rent maximizing ideal of sole owner management. Homans and Wilen (1997) point out that in practice virtually no ﬁsheries operate under open access or sole owner management. They introduce a model of regulated open access resource use, where entry to the ﬁshery is free but harvest is subject to regulations imposed by a management agency. They assume that the regulator chooses target harvest levels according to a safe stock concept, and estimate a regulator’s quota...
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