Sanchirico James N.

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James N.

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  • Article
    Political economy of renewable resource federalism
    (Ecological Society of America, 2020-12-15) Sanchirico, James N. ; Blackwood, Julie C. ; Fitzpatrick, Ben ; Kling, David M. ; Lenhart, Suzanne ; Neubert, Michael G. ; Shea, Katriona ; Sims, Charles B. ; Springborn, Michael R.
    The authority to manage natural capital often follows political boundaries rather than ecological. This mismatch can lead to unsustainable outcomes, as spillovers from one management area to the next may create adverse incentives for local decision making, even within a single country. At the same time, one‐size‐fits‐all approaches of federal (centralized) authority can fail to respond to state (decentralized) heterogeneity and can result in inefficient economic or detrimental ecological outcomes. Here we utilize a spatially explicit coupled natural–human system model of a fishery to illuminate trade‐offs posed by the choice between federal vs. state control of renewable resources. We solve for the dynamics of fishing effort and fish stocks that result from different approaches to federal management that vary in terms of flexibility. Adapting numerical methods from engineering, we also solve for the open‐loop Nash equilibrium characterizing state management outcomes, where each state anticipates and responds to the choices of the others. We consider traditional federalism questions (state vs. federal management) as well as more contemporary questions about the economic and ecological impacts of shifting regulatory authority from one level to another. The key mechanisms behind the trade‐offs include whether differences in local conditions are driven by biological or economic mechanisms; degree of flexibility embedded in the federal management; the spatial and temporal distribution of economic returns across states; and the status‐quo management type. While simple rules‐of‐thumb are elusive, our analysis reveals the complex political economy dimensions of renewable resource federalism.
  • Article
    Leveraging federalism for flexible and robust management of social‐ecological systems
    (British Ecological Society, 2023-02-16) Sims, Charles ; Armsworth, Paul R. ; Blackwood, Julie ; Fitzpatrick, Ben ; Kling, David M. ; Lenhart, Suzanne ; Neubert, Michael ; Papeş, Monica ; Sanchirico, James ; Shea, Katriona ; Springborn, Michael
    Managing social‐ecological systems (SES) requires balancing the need to tailor actions to local heterogeneity and the need to work over large areas to accommodate the extent of SES. This balance is particularly challenging for policy since the level of government where the policy is being developed determines the extent and resolution of action.We make the case for a new research agenda focused on ecological federalism that seeks to address this challenge by capitalizing on the flexibility afforded by a federalist system of governance. Ecological federalism synthesizes the environmental federalism literature from law and economics with relevant ecological and biological literature to address a fundamental question: What aspects of SES should be managed by federal governments and which should be allocated to decentralized state governments?This new research agenda considers the bio‐geo‐physical processes that characterize state‐federal management tradeoffs for biodiversity conservation, resource management, infectious disease prevention, and invasive species control.