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Abstract

The benefits from increased levels of social capital have been shown to manifest themselves in ways that can increase the efficiency of the use and regulation of natural resources, as well as increase the resiliency of resource dependent communities against fluctuations in abundance. While the literature shows ample evidence of the positive effects that social capital can have on management and stakeholder institutions, few studies examine the effects of changes in management on levels of social capital in commercial fisheries. This study employs network and econometric analyses to examine social capital in the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery. We compare alternative measurements of social capital, and find suggestive evidence of decreased levels of social capital associated with a recent change from effort-based to rights-based management. Increased knowledge of this relationship may provide tangible benefits to both management institutions and resource users.

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