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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Public Preferences for Endangered Species: An Examination of Geospatial Scale and Non-Market Values

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Non-market valuation allows society to express their preferences for goods and services whose economic value is not reflected in traditional markets. One issue that arises in applying non-market values in policy settings is defining the extent of the economic jurisdiction the area that includes all people who hold values for a good or service.

In this paper we estimate non-market values for recovering eight threatened and endangered marine species in the U.S. for two geographically embedded samples: households on the west coast of the U.S. and households throughout the nation. We statistically compare species values between the two samples to help determine the extent of and variation in the economic jurisdiction for endangered species recovery. Our findings support the tenet that the summation of non-market values across the country is appropriate when evaluating alternative policies for endangered species recovery.

By Dan Lew and Kristy Wallmo

Cooperative Formation and Peer Effects in Fisheries

The economic benefits that arise following the transition to a rights-based fishery management regime accrue on both the extensive margin, though consolidation, and the intensive margin, through more efficient use of productive inputs. This research explores the changes in fleet composition, economic performance, and coordination that occurred following the introduction of the Bering Sea Crab Rationalization program in the federally managed crab fisheries off Alaska.

We use data on cooperative composition and vessel ownership to define the suite of vessels available for use by each cooperative and examine the associated vessel use patterns (e.g., active and inactive vessels). On the extensive margin we estimate the relative efficiency of the vessels available to each fishing cooperative in order to look for potential arbitrage opportunities when selecting which vessels will fish the cooperative's quota allocation. On the intensive margin we investigate the role of peer effects in facilitating information gathering (through fishing effort used by vessels in the coop) and information sharing (through changes in cooperative-specific annual catch trends).

The results of our econometric analysis support the hypothesis that the cooperatives which formed took advantage of inter-cooperative arbitrage opportunities and exhibited peer effects in both catch and effort levels in the red king crab and snow crab fisheries. A manuscript is currently under internal review and will be sent out to a scientific journal later this year.

By Ron Felthoven, Jean Lee, and Kurt Schnier

Economic Impacts of Changes in an Alaska Crab Fishery from Ocean Acidification

We develop a bioeconomic model for Bristol Bay Red King crab (BBRKC) and generate yield projections of the crab from 2010 through 2100 both without ocean acidification (OA) (baseline) and with OA. We then use a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for Alaska to calculate the effects of the changes in harvests of BBRKC from OA, based on the yield projections, including regional economic impacts, welfare changes, and temporal changes in quota share lease rate for BBRKC. We calculate these economic effects for the three different sets of yield projections: (i) baseline projections without effects of OA, (ii) projections with linear OA effects, and (iii) projections with nonlinear OA effects in the pre-recruitment function. This study shows that model results are very sensitive to the three different sets of projections of BBRKC yields, indicating the importance of correctly specifying the spawner-recruit function. The results are shown to be even more sensitive if we account for the changes in world price of BBRKC.

By Chang Seung and Michael Dalton

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