Hi again k9queen,
The answers to your posted questions are embedded below:
An economist article (Mar. 19, 1994) states:
"In the past decade, most of the rich world's fisheries have been
exploited to the point of near-exhaustion." The article continues with
an anlysis of the problem and a discussion of possible pivate and
a)"Do not blame fishermen for overfishing. They are behaving
rationally as they have always done."
In what sense is "overfishing' rational for fishermen?
Since the fisherman are not limited in the number of fish they can
catch or the time they can spend fishing, all fisherman will attempt
to maximize their individual incomes by trying to catch as many fish
as possible during a given period of time.
b)"a community, held togther by ties of obligation and mutual
self-interest, can manage a common resource on its own."
Explain how such a management can work in principle, and what
obstacles it faces in the real world.
In principle, each member of the community would be concerned for the
management of common resources, and as a result each person would act
responsibly to ensure that the resource is maintained.
This faces significant obstacles in the real world, since individuals
are generally concerned primarily with their own well being. As a
result, if even one individual breaks their commitment to manage the
resource, others will see that nothing is being done and will follow
suit. Soon, the concept of common resource is likely to crumble and
each member of the community will be grasping for individual gain.
c)"Until 1976 most world fish stocks were open to all comers, making
conservation almosst impossible. Then an international agreement
extended some aspects of (national) jurisdiction from 12 to 200 miles
Using the concept of property rights, discuss how this agreement
reduces the scope of the problem.
The original problem here was that fisherman would come from outside
their own jurisdictions and contribute to the further depleation of
the fish stocks. By placing this type of regulation, the scope of the
problem is reduced in that only fisherman belonging to a specific
jurisdiction have a "claim" of the resources in this area. The problem
is not resolved however, since there is no restriction on these
fisherman, who could potentially depleat the stocks without any help
d)The articel notes that many governments come to the aid of suffering
fisherman in mways that encourage increased fishing.
How do such policies encourage a vicious cycle of overfishing?
Governments in general are regulatory bodies that rule for a
relatively short term (in comparison with the growth or depleation of
fish stocks). Therefore, there is a tendency to try an please their
constituents (such as fishermen) by implementing policies that may not
always be considering the long term resolution of the problem. In this
situation, indirectly allowing for overfishing by a government will
depleat stocks. This will result in contraversy and possible a
reduction in fishing rights. As the fish stock replenishes, the cycle
will continue. As a result, fish stocks would not be able to get to a
point of sustainability.
e)"Only when fishermen believe they are assured a long-term and
exclusive right to a fishery are they likely to manage it in the same
far-sighted way as good farmers manage their land."
Defend this statement.
A long-term and exclusive right to a fishery implies ownership - by
giving fisherman ownership of what was previously a common resource,
they will be more willing to preserve what they have in order to
ensure future stock levels are maintained. Otherwise, each fisherman
will be interested in only the short term since they know that if they
do not catch a fish today, another fisherman will likely come by and
take it from them.
f)What other policies to reduce overfishing might be considered?
Several policies can be implemented, including limits on fishing,
seasonal restrictions to prevent fishing during spawning season,
providing licenses to a limited group of fisherman (and perhaps giving
each of them individual limits) are all possible courses of action.
9)In a market economy, information about the quality or function of
goods and services is a valuable good in its own right. How does the
private market provide this information? Can you think of any way in
which the government plays a role in providing this information?
Regardless of the information that is or isn't provided by the provate
market, the cost of their goods and services are always available.
Drastic changes in price are typically indicators that there has been
a change in qulaity of goods and services. Since governments require
that firms in all markets report certain types of information to them,
they can act as a channel through which this type of information can
be passed along to the consumer by means of statistics, reports, and
Hopefully that answers your questions - let me know if you require any
clarification regarding the information above :)