Economic decisions in quota and license fishery management plans

Matthew Alan Freeman, University of Rhode Island


To improve the status of fisheries, evaluation of existing management plans and formation of new plans must occur. Fishery managers, therefore, will require an understanding of the economic incentives involved in these plans. Furthermore, fishers are involved in the management decision process, and so they respond not only to policies put into effect but also to proposed regulations. The objectives of this research are: to provide a comparison of sequential license buyback auctions with regards to the bidding strategy of fishers; to characterize why fishers become involved in the political process of fishery management.^ We use experimental economics to design two sequential license buyback auctions for statistical comparison. Our results identify benefits of both auctions, in terms of the payments to fishers and the rate at which licenses are retired from the fishing industry. As such, fishery managers might utilize either auction, dependent on the management goals.^ We also use experimental economics to design a regulated common pool resource environment with heterogeneous fishers to test our game-theoretical predictions on fishers' involvement in the political process. Our theoretical predictions serve as a benchmark for our experimental results. We observe that one group of individuals may have a diminished incentive to be involved in the political process, if the other group of individuals has a relatively similar preferred regulation. We also find that heterogeneity among fishers diminishes free-riding observed in previous experimental work using a homogeneous common pool resource setting.^

Subject Area

Economics, General|Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Recommended Citation

Matthew Alan Freeman, "Economic decisions in quota and license fishery management plans" (2009). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3378084.