The Survival of Cultures: Preemptive Compensation, Natural Resources and Poverty Public Deposited

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  • In developed – and some less-developed – societies, managing an “open access,” renewable natural resource sector generally involves taxes, quotas, or other government or community restrictions. But some cultures, especially in their early years, have taken a different approach, one that involves transfer of part of the output of the resource sector to other community members. This reduces the latter’s need to compete for access to that sector and, instead, induces them to apply their labor to production elsewhere in the community. This “preemptive compensation” policy may lead to resource conservation, participation in international trade and higher living standards for the entire community. This seems to be especially relevant where the natural resource sector is the primary source of food (e.g., a fishery) and where persons outside of the sector, but within the community, face extreme hunger. We develop a model that examines the phenomenon and we suggest conditions under which the “sharing” approach may eliminate hunger and lead to sustainable growth. The paper, then, reviews a strategy for renewable resource management that differs from most current approaches and, yet, can be traced to prehistoric times. We demonstrate one way that the renewable resource could be efficiently utilized without government restrictions, even under open access conditions. This can lead to a reduction in poverty and can replace economic isolation with participation in the global economy. It also offers an hypothesis for why some traditional societies have been able to support large populations over time, while avoiding resource devastation.
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  • Emami, Ali and Richard S. Johnston. 2010. The Survival of Cultures: Preemptive Compensation, Natural Resources and Poverty. 12 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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