Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Randy A. Nelson

Second Advisor

David Findlay


The Portland Fish Exchange, founded in 1986, is America’s first all-display fresh seafood auction. The ability to observe each lot of fish before it is sold enables buyers to offer prices that reflect the perceived quality of the fish they bid on. As a result, the price per pound paid for lots of identical fish can vary can vary significantly on any given day, implying that some boats or sellers may benefit from a “reputation” effect for high quality fish. In this study I explore the factors that explain the price differentials paid for a given type of fish using data from the PFEX over the period 2009-14. Controlling for the type of fish, the day, month, and year in which the lot was sold, the weight of the lot, the buyer, and the total amount of fish sold on a given day, I attempt to explain the reputation effect using both a boat fixed effects model, and a model that controls for the type of gear used to catch the fish, the length of vessel, and the length of the trip. I attempt to determine if the reputation effect is stable over time, and if it is related the cumulative number of landings for a given boat, which measures the degree of familiarity a buyer would have with a given seller.


Hedonic pricing, fish exchange

Included in

Economics Commons