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Accounting for the Impacts of Fishers' Knowledge and Norms on Economic Efficiency

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Rudd, Murray A.
Conference: Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work
Location: UBC Fisheries Centre, Vancouver, BC
Conf. Date: August 27-31
Date: 2001
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1406
Sector: Fisheries
Information & Knowledge
Region:
Subject(s): fisheries
efficiency
transaction costs
norms
local knowledge
social capital
Abstract: "Developing the theoretical links between the knowledge of fishers and societal economic outcomes is important if fishers? knowledge it to be taken seriously by policy makers. Having a theoretical basis that accounts for fishers? knowledge allows for rigorous approaches to marine ecosystem-based policy development that incorporates both social and ecological variables in management experiments. Social interactions that facilitate the development and communication of fishers? knowledge can improve aggregate economic performance by increasing productivity, reducing the risk of ?free-riders? engaging in opportunistic behavior, and encouraging the development of norms that support mutually beneficial collective action. The combination of (1) the social structures and protocols that facilitate predictable cooperative behavior and (2) the values that individuals hold which predispose them to cooperate with each other, are known as social capital. Social capital theory is useful for addressing pragmatic questions about how to target and strengthen social structural variables that most increase the likelihood of successful collective action. When considered as a variable affecting fishery sustainability, focusing on social capital can also be used for comparative policy assessments and help address questions of how to devolve governance to achieve efficiency-maximizing comanagement systems."

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