Essays on Natural Resource Economics

University dissertation from University of Gothenburg

Abstract: Paper 1: Enforcement of exogenous environmental regulation, social disapproval and bribery Many resource users are not directly involved in the formulation and enforcement of resource management rules and regulations in developing countries. As a result, resource users do not generally accept such rules. An enforcement officer who has social ties with the resource users may encounter social disapproval and possible social exclusion from the resource users if he/she enforces the regulation zealously. The officer, however, may avoid this social disapproval by accepting bribes. In this paper, we present a simple model that characterizes this situation and derive results for situations where the officer is passively and actively involved in the bribery. Paper 2: Bioeconomic model of spatial fishery management in developing countries Fishers in developing countries do not have the resources to acquire advanced technologies to exploit offshore fish stocks. As a result, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea requires countries to sign partnership agreements with distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) to exploit offshore stocks. However, for migratory stocks, the offshore may serve as a natural marine reserve (i.e. a source) to the inshore (i.e. sink); hence these partnership agreements generate spatial externality. In this paper, we present a bioeconomic model in which a social planner uses a landing tax (ad valorem tax) to internalize this spatial externality. We found that the tax must reflect the biological connectivity between the two patches, intrinsic growth rate, the price of fish, cost per unit effort and social discount rate. The results are empirically illustrated using data on Ghana. Paper 3: What do respondents bring into contingent valuation? A comparison of monetary and labour payment vehicles In the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), both the goods being valued and the payment vehicles used to value them are mostly hypothetical. However, although numerous studies have examined the impact of experience with the good on the willingness to pay, less attention has been given to experience with the payment vehicles. This paper examines how experience with payment vehicles influences responses to a CV scenario on the maintenance of irrigation canals. Specifically, the paper uses a split-sample survey to investigate the effects of experience with monetary and labour payment vehicles on the acceptance of a CV scenario and protest bids. Using convergent validity tests, we found that experience acquired from using both monetary and labour payment vehicles reduces the asymmetries in acceptance rates. These findings suggest that experience with payment vehicles reduces time/money response asymmetries in the CVM. Paper 4: Nudging Boserup? The impact of fertilizer subsidies on investment in soil and water conservation The new fertilizer subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa are intended to increase agricultural production and ensure fertilizer market development. Fertilizer adoption requires complementary inputs such as investment in soil and water conservation for efficient and optimal nutrient uptake, and many fertilizer subsidy programmes implicitly assume that fertilizer subsidies crowd in such investments. The present study, therefore, evaluates the impact of fertilizer subsidies on the provision of soil and water conservation efforts in Ghana. The results indicate that beneficiaries of the studied fertilizer subsidy programme do not invest significantly more in soil and water conservation, which advises against excessive reliance on farmers to respond to fertilizer subsidies with substantial investment in soil and water conservation. Thus, in order to achieve increased investment in soil and water conservation for sustainable agricultural development, more comprehensive measures that include these investments explicitly (such as integrated soil fertility management programmes) may be needed.

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