Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 37, 129-150 (1999) Article ID jeem. 1998.1060, available online at http://www.idealibrary.corn on IDE kL3 James N. Sanchiricoâ Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street NU: Washington, DC 20036 and James E. Wilen Department of Agncultural and Resource Economics, Unir ersity of California, Dar is, California 956 16 Received October 9, 1997; revised October 1998 This paper presents a model of renewable resource exploitation that incorporates both intertemporal dynamics and spatial movement. The model combines the H. S. Gordon-Vernon Smith hypothesis of a rent dissipation process with Ricardian notions that resources are exploited across space in a pattern dependent upon relative profitabilities. The population structure is characterized in a manner consistent with modern biological ideas that stress patchiness, heterogeneity, and interconnections among and between patches. Generally, we find the equilibrium patterns of biomass and effort across the system to be dependent upon bioeconomic conditions within each patch and the nature of the biological dispersal mechanism between patches. We use simple examples to illustrate how the distribution of effort throughout the system reflects the heterogeneity and the spatial biological linkages. o 1999 Academic Press I. INTRODUCTION Economistsâ models of renewable resource exploitation have utilized
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