Comment on “Landing Fees versus Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks.” Public Deposited

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  • In “Landing fees vs. harvest quotas with uncertain fish stocks”, Martin Weitzman maintains that the conventional view among both fisheries economists and fisheries managers is that “prices” are inferior to “quantities” as instruments for regulating the fishing industry. Weitzman takes the opposite position, appealing to two well-established ideas in economics: 1) his own seminal insight on “prices vs. quantities”(Weitzman 1974), and 2) the “powerful general theme in economics that a ‘price signal’ can compress into a simple reduced form all relevant information for inducing correct decentralized decisions.” His paper is an attempt to capture and formalize his intuition on the subject using a standard dynamic fishery model with a stochastic stock-recruitment relation which introduces uncertainty, and evaluating the performance of both landing fees and harvest quotas in comparison to a hypothetical “perfect-information” optimal solution. The basic model is a well-known type which gives rise to a “bang-bang” optimal escapement target, S*. Weitzman rigorously solves the optimizing fishery manager’s dynamic programming problem for each management regime, and shows that the result for a constant landing fee (corresponding to S*) is identical to the “perfect-information” solution, but that both are superior to the harvest quota. This result is undoubtedly correct for the models being appraised. The basis for this finding is less clear, however, since the assumptions which have given rise to this result are not explicitly identified. Indeed, on closer examination, the source of these striking results appears to be unrelated to “prices vs. quantities” in the classic sense. Furthermore, the theme in economics that a ‘price signal’ can compress information and induce correct decentralized decisions appears to be unrelated since there are no differentiated decentralized decisions to be made in the model.
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  • Jaeger, W.K. Comment on “Landing Fees versus Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks.” In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.
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  • Johnston, Richard S.
  • Shriver, Ann L.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Janet Webster (janet.webster@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-07-13T16:18:23Z No. of bitstreams: 1 113.pdf: 39802 bytes, checksum: 8f7431b22b09f858638b4efabde388ff (MD5)
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