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Seminarios académicos y conferencias

Andrés González, Berkeley

The economics of enforcement

Coautor: Mushfiq Mobarak, Yale.

25 Octubre 2017 - 15:30 hrs.

Sala 113, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas UC

Abstract: The Hake fish, a popular source of protein for low and middle-income Chileans, is now critically threatened by over-fishing. The Chilean government has enacted an annual ban on fishing and consumption during the fish’s reproduction cycle in September, but it has not been able to regulate small-scale artisanal fishermen effectively. This project implements a randomized-controlled trial to evaluate two complementary interventions to reduce over-fishing of Hake during September: (1) Informing vendors about the ban, and monitoring and penalizing those that sell illegal fish during September and (2) Informing consumers about the environmental problem and ban through an information campaign designed to discourage the consumption of hake during the ban. Both strategies, in isolation or in combination, reduce fresh hake sales. Vendors react to enforcement by attempting to circumvent the ban through hidden sales and other means (which we track through secret shoppers). Random variation in the specifics of the enforcement strategy shows that less predictable monitoring visits are consequently much more effective in curbing hake sales than visits that occur on a predictable schedule. Low frequency visits on a less predictable schedule are even more effective than costly high-frequency monitoring. Curbing undesirable behaviors through regulation is difficult when regulated agents react to the new regime in unanticipated ways to circumvent enforcement. Details of the enforcement policy design are crucial in determining the sustained, longer-term effects of enforcement.