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Bargaining, Distribution and Efficiency in Norwegian Moose Hunting

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Gasdal, Odd
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1842
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Europe
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
Abstract: "Efficient utilization of common pool resources requires that users accept a limit on their aggregate resource extraction. But it also requires that they accept a division, or procedures and rules for the division, of their individual extraction rights. Thus, potential 'tragedy of the commons' problems tend to get exacerbated by distributional (or bargaining) problems. Such problems may even persist in cases where the 'tragedy' of overuse has been prevented through externally imposed regulation of aggregate extraction quotas. This paper approaches these issues from the perspective of bargaining theory. It discusses what sources of bargaining power there might be and how institutional context and user heterogeneity (i.e. distribution of access to sources of power) may affect the rules and other institutional arrangements that common pool resource users agree to set up to solve distributional conflicts. It also discusses how these institutional arrangements and user heterogeneity together may affect the final distribution and allocative efficiency of common pool resource utilization. The discussion is illustrated with examples from Norwegian moose hunting. We compare areas with varying degrees of hunting right owner heterogeneity and assess how these differences are associated with different kinds of institutional arrangements and distributional outcomes in local commons. We also estimate individual level associations between bargaining power indices and distributional outcomes. The analyses are made using survey data that were gathered from random samples of approximately 1,000 hunting right holding landowners and 1,000 hunters in two Norwegian counties. Three of our most general conclusions concerning the moose hunting case are that: 1. Unequal distributions of hunting input resources (such as land) seem to lead to even more unequal distributions of power and hunting yields. 2. That unequal power distributions may support institutional arrangements that lead to inefficient resource utilization. 3. That these outcomes are dependent on the institutional context and might change if hunting laws or hunting policies change."

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