Empirical Models of Fisheries Production: Conflating Technology with Incentives?

Matthew N. Reimer, Joshua Abbott, Alan C. Haynie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Conventional empirical models of fisheries production inadequately capture the primary margins of behavior along which fishermen act, rendering them ineffective for ex ante policy evaluation. We estimate a conventional production model for a fishery undergoing a transition to rights-based management and show that ex ante production data alone arrives at misleading conclusions regarding post-rationalization production possibilities- even though the technologies available to fishermen before and after rationalization were effectively unchanged. Our results emphasize the difficulty of assessing the potential impacts of a policy change on the basis of ex ante data alone. Since such data are generated under a different incentive structure than the prospective system, a purely empirical approach imposed upon a flexible functional form is likely to reflect far more about the incentives under status-quo management than the actual technological possibilities under a new policy regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-190
Number of pages22
JournalMarine Resource Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • bycatch
  • fisheries
  • hyperbolic distance function
  • Policy evaluation
  • policy invariance
  • production function
  • targeting ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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