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Economic Shocks in the Fisheries Sector and Maritime Piracy

Ludwig, Markus and Flückiger, Matthias (2014): Economic Shocks in the Fisheries Sector and Maritime Piracy.

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Abstract

For a panel of 109 coastal countries we show that negative economic shocks in the fisheries sector are associated with an increase in maritime piracy. Our identification strategy uses the variation in the phytoplankton abundance off the individual countries' coasts, measured by satellite data, as a source of such shocks. We find that plankton abundance is positively related to fish catches but negatively associated with the incidence of piracy, onset and the absolute number of pirate attacks. Our instrumental variable estimates indicate that a one percent increase in fish catches reduces the risk of piracy occurring by one percentage point.

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