Markets and rent dissipation in regulated open access fisheries

Frances R. Homans, James E. Wilen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations


Using a model of regulated open access resource use with markets, we illustrate the potential complexity of interactions between markets, product quality, excess effort, and regulatory behavior in fisheries. Our model assumes two product types, one of which is processed and storable. The model describes the equilibrium that results when effort responds to open access incentives and when regulators respond to effort growth by mitigating its potential harmful effects on biomass safety. We use numerical simulations to demonstrate a mechanism by which market growth leads to the diversion of raw inputs into the inherently inferior market. The result is a scenario in which rents are dissipated not only because excessive inputs raise costs, but also because inferior product types reduce revenues. We conclude with an illustrative decomposition of rent gains into revenue and cost savings gains from rationalizing a hypothetical fishery, demonstrating the potential significance of market-side rents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-404
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005



  • Markets
  • Regulated open access
  • Rent dissipation

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