Fishing vessel efficiency, skipper skills and hake price transmission in a small island economy

  • Stefano MainardiEmail author
Research Article


Determinants of vessel efficiency and vertical/horizontal price transmissions in consumer markets are key elements for assessing the viability of a fishery, particularly for a small fishery-dependent economy. An open issue also concerns whether vessel efficiency levels influence export prices. The paper sets off with a review of evidence from other countries, followed by hypotheses for the Falkland Islands. To test these hypotheses, the analysis first applies a stochastic frontier model accounting for latent skipper skills, to a monthly 2008–2016 panel of fishing vessels operating in the Islands. Using estimated vessel inefficiency by licence type as a proxy indicator of product quality and extra costs of transhipment, the study moves on to examine price adjustments of Falkland hake and other finfish sold at Spanish ports vis-à-vis two major south Atlantic hake supplier countries—Argentina and Namibia—and local traders. Lastly, based on full sample and rolling widow regressions on 2004–2016 monthly data, the analysis formulates and estimates threshold autoregressive models for the hake value chain in Spain, as the largest European port-of-entry and market for fresh and frozen hake, including from the Falklands. Once different output frontiers are accounted for, vessels with licences for hake as their main target do not outperform, in terms of technical efficiency, less-valued finfish vessels. Besides evidence of increasing integration within supplier and consumer markets, econometric results suggest some degree of price ‘leadership’ by Namibian hake exporters and asymmetric behaviour in short-run price adjustments by Spanish retailers. However, producer and consumer markets turn out to be weakly interlinked.


Fishery efficiency and price transmission Latent skipper skills Threshold regression 

JEL classification

C23 C24 Q22 Q27 



Formerly at the Dept. of Natural Resources, Stanley, Falkland Islands. The author is grateful to two reviewers, J. Balcar, B.K. Kiyago and colleagues in the Falklands, for constructive comments on earlier drafts. The usual caveat applies.


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Copyright information

© L’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied EconomicsVŠB-Technical University of OstravaOstravaCzech Republic

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