Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Monkey harvesting" and the monkey market

Any academic paper that talks about "monkey harvesting" is a must blog piece.

Ecological Economics is a well respected journal. The data that managed to source for this paper sounds great.

Not surprisingly the conclusion is that being a monkey on Boiko Island is not good for your chances of living into old age as a Colobus Satanas.

The market for bushmeat: Colobus Satanas on Bioko Island

Wayne Morraa, Gail Hearnb, and Andrew J. Buckc


Species conservation is an important issue worldwide. The market for monkeys consumed as food on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, is modeled as a bargaining game. The bargaining set-up leads to the conclusion that black colobus are being over-hunted. Using daily data an empirical density is fit to the price–quantity pairs resulting from exchange between buyers and retailers. The density provides support for the bargaining model. Quantile regressions are also fit to the data. The median quantile indicates buyers have greater bargaining power than retailers. Knowing who has bargaining power aids in the design of policy to reduce bushmeat hunting. Strategic elasticities are constructed from the quantiles. Given the harvest rate of monkeys and the elasticity estimates, the monkeys of Bioko Island are under considerable pressure.

Keywords: Bushmeat; Biodiversity; Price elasticity; Quantile regression; Empirical distribution


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