The Impact of Property Rights to Fish on Remote Communities in Alaska

Sara A. Sutherland and Eric C. Edwards


Remote communities that rely on natural resource production may be differentially affected by changes in property rights to the resource. We examine the effect on remote fishing ports of the 1995 introduction of individual fishing quotas in the Alaskan halibut and sablefish fisheries, two of the first and largest adoptions. Using a two-way fixed effect difference-in-difference model, we find that affected remote communities see a 5%–13% decrease in population and declines in taxable sales revenue of 15%–19%. Quota allocation and market transfer rules, designed to address social objectives, generally failed to reduce these community effects.


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