PhD Research - Molly Lassiter

MA Financial Economics, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; SB Biology, Davidson College

Can overfishing be explained by ambiguity aversion? Fishery collapse is a worldwide problem often attributed to overfishing. Previous research has linked uncertainty to overfishing, but has treated all model parameters as known, implicitly assuming perfect knowledge of the complex processes that drive the growth and depletion of fish stocks. In her research, Molly make the more relevant assumption of ambiguity to describe imperfect knowledge of bioeconomic processes, and she modifies the Reed (1979) bioeconomic model of fishery management to explore the relationship between ambiguity and overfishing. She finds that overfishing is exacerbated as the fishery management becomes more averse to ambiguity or as ambiguity increases. In addition, she finds that ambiguity results in higher harvests than does mere uncertainty, underlining the importance of considering imperfect knowledge of bioeconomic processes as a cause of fishery collapse.

Year Admitted: 2010
Research Areas: Resource Management under Ambiguity, Reserve Site Selection under Climate Change, Resource Management under Ambiguity with Learning

Faculty Advisor: Bruce Kendall

Office: Bren Hall 3522

Curriculum Vitae