Measuring the Potential to Adopt Self Governance for the Management of a Common Pool Resource



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Self governance has proved to be a suitable instrument for the management of a common pool resource like fisheries. Under self governance, individuals organize themselves for the use of a resource, to deal with problems derived from the free access: overexploitation and low profit levels. Although there is a large amount of research devoted to investigate the common pool resources and self governance, there are two areas that represent a gap in the current research. One, what are the main variables related to likely self governance adoption? Two, how is the potential for self governance related to the economic efficiency of the resource users?

Unlike most of previous research that involves ex-post analysis, this is an ex-ante assessment of the potential for self governance for management of a common pool resource: a small-scale fishery located in Mexico. This research hypothesizes a positive relationship between fisher's technical efficiency and the likely adoption of self governance for the management of the fishery.

Taking a set of theoretical conditions, this research assesses the fishers' perception on the adoption of self governance. Further, a stochastic frontier analysis is applied to estimate the technical efficiency of each fisher. Finally, a relationship between the potential for self governance with technical efficiency, revenue, and other variables such as education and fisher experience is explored. The results show no significant effect of technical efficiency and revenue on the potential for self governance, as well a weak positive effect of fisher experience on the likelihood for self governance adoption. The findings of this research may be useful to improve the efficiency of the fishing activity and encourage the adoption of self governance in the study site.

The method proposed in this research is based on attitudes of the fishers, and it represents a step toward understanding apriori whether self governance would be implementable or not. Thus, as an ex-ante assessment, it is hoped to help predicting individual's behavior to deal with the overexploitation and low income levels derived from the use of a common pool resource.