Bioeconometrics: Empirical Modeling of Bioeconomic Systems

38 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2007

See all articles by Martin D. Smith

Martin D. Smith

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment

Date Written: December 2006


The rise of ecosystem management as an approach to renewable resource policy increases the demand for empirical bioeconomics. This paper provides a working definition of bioeconometrics and a taxonomy of model types. A bioeconometric model is a structural model that econometrically estimates one or more parameters of a bioeconomic system. Bioeconometric model types include equilibrium, dynamically decoupled, and dynamically coupled. The challenges and importance of bioeconometrics are illustrated with a Monte Carlo analysis of simulated data that attempts to differentiate among six different qualitative categories in a system characterized by critical depensation. The analysis highlights a theme in nonlinear dynamics - that a small quantitative change in a parameter can affect the qualitative dynamics - and shows that the econometrician may know the least empirically about a bioeconomic system when she needs to know the most.

Keywords: bioeconomics, ecosystem management, open access, coupled systems, econometrics

JEL Classification: Q22, C15

Suggested Citation

Smith, Martin D., Bioeconometrics: Empirical Modeling of Bioeconomic Systems (December 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Martin D. Smith (Contact Author)

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
919-613-8028 (Phone)
919-684-8741 (Fax)


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