45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We analyze the problem of preventing biological invasions caused by ships transporting internationally traded goods between countries and continents. Specifically, we ask the following question: Should a port manager have a small number of inspectors inspect arriving ships less stringently or should this manager have a large number of inspectors inspect the same ships more stringently? We use a simple queuing-theoretic framework and show that if decreasing the economic cost of regulation is very important then it makes more sense for the port manager to choose the less stringent inspection regime. In contrast, if reducing the damage from biological invasions is more salient then the port manager ought to pick the more stringent inspection regime.