The Role of Economics in Global Management of Whales: Re-Forming or Re-Founding Iwc?
17 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2006
The global management of whale species, identified as an economic mixed good, is addressed by means of economic theory of bargaining and institution making. I will analyse (i) why it is important to take into account explicitly both (consumptive) use and non-use values within international conventions on global mixed goods; (ii) the role and nature of institutions dealing with global issues; (iii) the role of bargaining between conflicting interests as a focal feature of the institution-making process; and, (iv) the role of economic thinking in international conventions. Co-operative and non co-operative solutions are discussed, and instruments aimed at achieving co-operative bargaining, analysed. The study has both positive and normative implications, with insights on social welfare enhancing institutional reforms. Although the study is broad yet special focus is given to the International Whaling Commission (IWC). This paper concludes that we should make economic theory operational within the realm of global institutions. On the basis of the bargaining model, the conclusion is that IWC should necessarily be re- founded or at least re-formed, changing the convention from 'whaling' to a 'whale'. It is suggested that the possibility of introducing compensatory side payments into the bargaining arena in order to increase social welfare and enforceability with respect to a 'ban' scenario be investigated. Ethical implications of monetary compensations are considered in parallel with economic efficiency. The limits and potentialities of economics and economic instruments are also tested globally with respect to the whale and other environmental issues.
Keywords: Whales, Shared resources, International agreements, Mixed good, Global bargaining, IWC
JEL Classification: Q22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation