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mreProfessor Ling Huang‘s article with Lauren A. B. Nichols, J. Kevin Craig, and Martin D. Smith titled “Measuring Welfare Losses from Hypoxia: The Case of North Carolina Brown Shrimp,” has been selected as the winner for the eighth annual award for Outstanding Article in Marine Resource Economics.

Abstract: While environmental stressors such as hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) are perceived as a threat to the productivity of coastal ecosystems, policy makers have little information about the economic consequences for fisheries. Recent work on hypoxia develops a bioeconomic model to harness microdata and quantify the effects of hypoxia on North Carolina’s brown shrimp fishery. This work finds that hypoxia is responsible for a 12.9% decrease in NC brown shrimp catches from 1999–2005 in the Neuse River Estuary and Pamlico Sound, assuming that vessels do not react to changes in abundance. The current article extends this work to explore the full economic con­sequences of hypoxia on the supply and demand for brown shrimp. Demand analysis reveals that the NC shrimp industry is too small to influence prices, which are driven entirely by imports and other domestic U.S. harvest. Thus, demand is flat and there are no measurable benefits to shrimp consumers from reduced hypoxia. On the supply side, we find that the shrimp fleet responds to variation in price, abundance, and weather. Hence, the supply curve has some elasticity. Producer benefits of reduced hypoxia are less than a quarter of the computed gains from assuming no behavioral adjustment.



Ling Huang, Economics PhD from Duke University and currently post-doc at the Fisheries Economics Research Unit of the University of British Columbia, will be joining the department as Assistant Professor next Fall. Her research interests center on investigating the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomic outputs. Specifically, she is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of policies and impacts of resource exploitation, and discovering the underlying mechanisms.

Huang has conducted research on a wide range of topics in resource economics, including property rights and overexploitation of renewable resources, economic impact analysis of environmental stresses, impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, non-market evaluation, economic impact analysis of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, ‘green’ economy strategies and ecosystem-based management. She has published in Ecological Economics and Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science