Marine Industry

Ask an Economist

Can you see the number GDP per capita increase in the next year and subsequently causing an increase in commercial boat ownership within the United States?


Let me start by saying that I have expertise in the economics of commercial fishing. I cannot speak to whether GDP will increase next year. If GDP does rise, there may be channels by which commercial boat building and therefore boat ownership within the US could increase.  I doubt that a rise in GDP would substantially increase commercial fishing boat building and ownership. This is because most commercial fisheries in the US and throughout the world are currently overcapitalized due to years of open access or controlled access management which has allowed (encouraged) over-investment in vessel capital.
An increase in GDP could increase recreational boat building, since recreational watercraft are a luxury good. A higher GDP could increases commercial ship building through increased trade, much of which is transported across oceans. I should emphasize that I am speculating about the latter two channels.

Answered by:
John F. Timmons Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics
Last updated on March 9, 2018