Archive for February, 2013

Valuing Environment and Natural Resources

February 27, 2013

ValuingEnvironmentAndNaturalResourcesThe two-volume tome Valuing Environment and Natural Resources, edited by Kenneth G. Willis and Guy Garrod, was published last year. It is interesting of at least two reasons. In the interest of backwardness, the least important reason is that it is titled almost identically to the book Valuing Environmental and Natural Resources (look again) by Timothy C. Haab (of and Kenneth E. McConnell. As if the similarity in the title was not enough, they are both published on Edward Elgar.

The other, more important, reason for taking an interest in Valuing Environment and Natural Resources is buried deep in volume two. In chapter 32 of volume two, to be exact. Chapter 32, the first chapter in Part X (Marine), is namely a reprint of my very first published article. The article appeared initially in the journal Marine Resource Economics, volume 23, number 2, and was titled ‘The Premium of Marine Protected Areas: A Simple Valuation Model.’ The abstract goes as follows:


The article addresses the induced cost, the premium, from establishing a marine protected area in a deterministic model of a fishery. Outside the protected area, the fishery is managed optimally through total allowable catch quotas. The premium is found to be increasing and convex along the protection parameter. Biological measures are introduced to increase the understanding of the mechanisms in the bioeconomic system. Time-series solutions show that the net return per unit of fish increases after the protected area is established.

In fact, I discovered that the article was reprinted by mere accident (if to google yourself could be regarded a ‘mere’ accident). While I know the journal holds certain rights, I was surprised I was not even informed about the reprint. Oh well. Other authors who’s work are reprinted include big guns like Ian Bateman, Nick Hanley, John List, V. Kerry Smith, Jason Shogren, and a number of others and it is rather pleasant to be reprinted in the same book as them. The publisher describes the book as follows:

Over-exploitation of environment and natural resources is becoming increasingly widespread in the modern world. To combat this, environmental economists have attempted to value such resources in order to ensure that they are given due recognition in any ex ante appraisal, or ex post evaluation of projects or policies; and also to ensure that optimal levels of consumption are determined for the resource. This authoritative collection, along with an original introduction by the editors, brings together seminal papers published in the last three decades which demonstrate the application of a number of techniques employed to value a range of environmental and natural resources. It will be of immense value to students, scholars and practitioners with an interest in environmental affairs and natural resources. [Yes, italics are mine…]



US Atlantic Cod Fisheries Collapse

February 12, 2013

Over on the REConHub, I link to a New York Times story on the US Atlantic cod fisheries. I contrast the story to the situation on the other side of the Atlantic, where the Barents Sea cod is at historic high levels.

An aspect of the NYT-story I did not mention earlier is how large a say the fishermen seem to have in the management council decision, and the amount of tensions in the council meeting.

“Right now what we’ve got is a plan that guarantees the fishermen’s extinction and does nothing to ameliorate it,” David Goethel, a New Hampshire-based fisherman and biologist, said as he cast his vote against the plan.

There seems to be large differences between the US and Europe in how fishermen participate in the management process. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about it.


Visiting UC Berkeley

February 6, 2013

The Campanile at UC BerkeleyFor the spring semester, I am a visiting scholar at the Department of Agriculural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to be here; at arguably the very best place in the world for agricultural and resource economics. Throughout most of January, there were two job market seminars each week. The candidates were stellar, of course, but the Berkeley crowd is not easy to please. Never unfriendly, never easy.

My work here will revolve around ecosystem-based fisheries managment; mostly on the methodological and empirical side, perhaps touching upon theoretcial issues. I also audit a class on empirical environmental and energy economics, take an intensive writing class, attend seminars, and hunt down treasures in the libraries. Later in the term, I am scheduled to give a seminar myself at the ARE department.

Weekends I intend to spend in the Californian countryside,  on beaches, on carousels, trams, and cablecars, in book and record stores, and at the occasional outlet mall, among other things. Went to the big aquarium in Monterey a couple of weeks back. Among amazing displays, the tuna was the unquestionable highlight. Incredible how fast those fish fly through the water.