Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics


Marine Resources



First Advisor

T. F. Weaver


This study analyzes the cost-production relationship of trap and hand line fishing in Puerto Rico. A model of the fishing family firm is designed which is similar to the traditional neo-classical model of the fishing industry. The catch functions, of the Cobb-Douglas type, are estimated using the single least squares methods. Tests of technical efficiency and tests of price efficiency are then conducted to establish if some groups of fishermen are more efficient than others and to verify if the fishermen maximize their profit, given the technical coefficients of the catch function and the level of the prices.

The results of those tests show that some fishermen are significantly more skillful than others. They also indicate that, as a rule the fishermen do not maximize their profit, that is, that they do not choose the optimum combination of inputs.

Those conclusions suggest a certain number of policy measures. It is shown that improving the fishermen's skill would substantially increase their catch. The same results would be obtained if, with proper advice, they selected the optimum combination of inputs.

Given the lack of sufficient data on the fish population it was not possible to measure the precise extent of the effects of those policy measures. However this study provides a useful guide for the policy makers.



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