Private Property and Economic Efficiency: A Study of a Common-Pool Resource
Posted: 20 Jun 2000
The British Columbia halibut fishery provides a natural experiment of the effects of "privatizing the commons". Using firm-level data from the fishery two years before private harvesting rights were introduced, the year they were implemented, and three years afterwards, a stochastic frontier is estimated to test for changes in technical, allocative and economic efficiency. The study indicated that, one, the short-run efficiency gains from privatization may take several years to materialize and can be compromised by restrictions on transferability, duration and divisibility of the property right, two, substantial long-run gains in efficiency can be jeopardized by pre-existing regulations and the bundling of the property right to the capital stock and three, the gains from privatization are not just in terms of cost efficiency but include important benefits in revenue and product form.
JEL Classification: L33, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation