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Conflicts and Choices in Biodiversity Preservation

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  • Andrew Metrick
  • Martin L. Weitzman

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to examine the preservation of biodiversity as an economic problem. Using a very simple prototype model, the authors discuss how to include diversity in the objective function and how to develop a simple cost-benefit ranking criterion for ordering priorities. Then they analyze data on endangered species preservation decisions in the United States to shed light on the conformity of theory with practice. A basic theme is that the core issue in biodiversity preservation today is the fuzziness of the objective function.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.3.21
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 21-34

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:3:p:21-34

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.3.21
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  1. Polasky Stephen & Solow Andrew R., 1995. "On the Value of a Collection of Species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 298-303, November.
  2. Stephen Polasky & Andrew Solow & James Broadus, 1993. "Searching for uncertain benefits and the conservation of biological diversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 171-181, April.
  3. Simpson, R David & Sedjo, Roger A & Reid, John W, 1996. "Valuing Biodiversity for Use in Pharmaceutical Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 163-85, February.
  4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1992. "On Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 363-405, May.
  5. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1996. "Patterns of Behavior in Endangered Species Preservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
  6. Weitzman, Martin L, 1993. "What to Preserve? An Application of Diversity Theory to Crane Conservation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 157-83, February.
  7. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
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