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Quotas, Productivity, and Prices: The Case of Anchovy Fishing

Gabriel Natividad ()

Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 2016, vol. 25, issue 1, 220-257

Abstract: I exploit a 2009 reform that introduced individual fishing quotas (catch shares) for Peruvian anchovy—the largest fishery in the world—to assess the causal impact of production quotas on within‐firm productivity and market prices. Unique features of the data allow me to create two alternative counterfactuals: (i) anchovy fishing operations in a region of the country that was mandated to implement quotas with a delay, and (ii) variation in quota allocations across ships. I find that quotas do not increase within‐asset or within‐firm productivity in quantities. Instead, a 200% increase in anchovy prices benefits extraction firms through higher revenues, consistent with two mechanisms enacted by individual fishing quotas: more orderly industry operations reducing excess supply and an increase in bargaining power of extraction firms with respect to fish‐processing. Several market characteristics across geographies differentially affect market prices after the quota regime. Supplementary evidence on fewer operational infractions, higher product quality, and a lower banking delinquency observed during the quota regime suggests the existence of efficiency gains rather than purely rent transfers.

Date: 2016
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Working Paper: Quotas, Productivity and Prices: The Case of Anchovy Fishing (2014) Downloads
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