The Impact of Fisheries Reform: Property Rights Markets and the Drivers of Outmigration in Rural Alaska
Meredith, Jennifer Murphy
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This dissertation explores the economic effects of management shifts introduced in commercial Alaskan fisheries between 1975 and 2015. The first two chapters use household survey data from rural Alaska to examine the impact of limiting access to Alaskan salmon through transferable fishing permits. The first chapter exploits an eligibility window at the initial allocation of salmon permits to test whether the transferability of permits drove outcomes for rural villagers and their descendants. Results show that the sale of permits generates descendant outmigration and has other impacts on migration, employment, and durable assets that depend on permit type and gender of the initial recipient. The second chapter explores the drivers of permit sale and compares the relative importance of covariate shocks to demand, idiosyncratic shocks to individual productivity, and interventions designed to increase access to credit. Finally, the third chapter discusses the impact of catch shares programs in Alaska more generally and shows that the post-rationalization distribution of revenue from quota ownership has been largely stable across communities of different regions and scales.
- Economics