Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eggert on Warming

Not global warming, but Jens Warming, an early property-rights economist who studied fisheries decades before the more famous contributions of Anthony Scott and Scott Gordon. Here is the abstract of Eggert's article:
This article summarizes the contribution in fisheries economics by the Danish economist Jens Warming and gives a translation of his article "Aalegaardsretten" (The Danish Right to Eel Weir, 1931). Warming, provides an early reference on the problem of open access, precedes Arthur Pigou in suggesting an optimal tax as a correction measure, which I refer to as a Warming land tax in fisheries, and explains how property rights in fisheries will lead to maximized resource rent and prevent overfishing. What is missing in Warming's description of the problem is the dynamic aspect and that the economics of natural resources should be analyzed in a capital theoretic framework, which was later established by Anthony Scott (1955a; 1955b).
 The translation of Warming's 1931 is particularly welcome. One weakeness in Warming's treatment that Eggert neglects is the failure to recognize potential common-property solutions to overexploitation of fisheries. However, as Eggert argues, Warming clearly deserves more recognition that he has received.

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