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2004-11-01 | Peer Reviewed

Are Commercial Fishers Risk-Lovers?

Eggert, Håkan and Peter Martinsson. 2004. “Are Commercial Fishers Risk-Lovers?.” Land Economics 80:4: 550-560.
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Eishers are risk-averse according to most empirical studies, while expected-utility theory predicts risk neutrality even for sizable stakes.

We test this prediction using data from a stated-choice experiment with Swedish commercial fishers. Our results show that only 48% of the fishers can be broadly characterized as risk-neutral, while 26% are modestly risk-averse, and 26% are strongly riskaverse. Eishers are more risk-neutral the higher the fraction of their household's income comes from fishing. Sensitivity testing implies that modest stake decisions like a few days of fishing are not influenced by wealth level.