Monday, January 28, 2008

Tragedy of the Commons and Fisheries: An empirical study

Although it is too late for my 211 students and their assessed work, I have just come across an excellent working paper by Stephanie McWhinnie.

The title of the paper is:

The Tragedy of the Commons in International Fisheries: An Empirical Examination[PDF]

Historically, all capture fisheries have proven hard to manage; internationally shared stocks face an additional impediment to effective management. Previous fisheries studies estimate gains from cooperation for particular species or locations, but evidence is lacking on the wider effect that international sharing has in relation to other variables that affect stock status. This paper is an attempt to shed a broader light on the effect of sharing by identifying whether shared fish stocks are systematically more exploited. I compile exploitation status, biological and economic data into a unique two-period panel of more than two-hundred fish stocks from around the globe with which I test the theoretical implications of sharing. The empirical results from ordered category estimation suggest that shared stocks are indeed more prone to overexploitation.


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