This dissertation analyzes the yield, economic and societal implications of decadal climate variability (DCV) information in the Missouri River basin and policy regulations on the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. The analysis is conducted within three main essays. The first essay investigates the effects of DCV on crop yields of 8 major crops in the Missouri River Basin (MRB). The study uses hierarchical models within a Bayesian framework to examine heterogeneity in DCV effects across counties, which prevents extreme estimates for counties with a small number of observations. The results show that DCV does alter crop yields on a geographically specific basis and suggest that adaptation is possible by altering crop mix.
The second essay evaluates economic value and management adaptations associated with DCV information again in the Missouri River Basin. Three types of information cases are investigated: perfect, conditional, and na?ve information. The study employs a stochastic programming model applied across all the counties in the MRB region. That model simulates crop mix, market activity, and welfare changes under different DCV information. The results show that the conditional DCV information generates a net benefit of $28.83 million annually, while the perfect information results in a gain of $82.29 million. We also find adaptations in terms of crop mix and irrigation extent that vary across DCV information.
In the third essay, an integrated bioeconomic model is built to evaluate alternative fishery policies for the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. This model combines an economic demand model with a biological individual-based simulation model and a biological stock assessment model. The model is used to investigate the marginal impacts of crab harvest size, sex, and season regulations in a Monte Carlo setting. We then summarize the results using regression methods, yielding estimates of the marginal effect of alterations in regulation features. The results indicate that a short and temporarily closed female fishing season and a long male fishing season increase sustainable yield and revenue. For size limits, we find increases in minimum limits for males, females, peelers and soft-shell crabs increase sustainable catch and revenue, while imposing a larger maximum limit on mature female crabs increases sustainable revenue.
- Woodward, Richard Professor