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Local Spillovers of Commercial Fishing: Evidence from Alaska Public Deposited

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  • Commercial fishing can provide a source of economic opportunities for coastal communities; however, little is known about how large such effects may be. In particular, there is limited empirical research on what indirect impact commercial fishing may have on local economic activity in other sectors through spillover/multiplier effects. While such spillovers have been the subject of past work in other extractive sectors, econometric estimates of the local multiplier effects of commercial fishing are relatively few (see Roy et al., 2009, for an exception). We econometrically estimate the local multiplier effects of commercial fisheries in Alaskan fishing community economies. Adapting the empirical methodology of Moretti (2010), we estimate the effect of an additional dollar of fishing revenue in a given fishery for communities that have access rights to that fishery, are located nearby the fishery, or have catch landed at a local processor. We differentiate the effect of access rights, proximity, and landings to determine the relative importance of each of these channels in spurring local economic activity. Further, using a novel state dataset, we are able to differentiate whether economic gains are accruing to long-term residents or non-resident workers. Despite the substantial size of the Alaskan commercial fishing industry, we find virtually no evidence of local multiplier effects across any of the potential channels for the average Alaskan community. We provide qualitative evidence that this is attributable to a large fraction of out-of-state access ownership and a migratory workforce.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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