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The value of conserving genetic resources for R&D: A survey

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Author Info

  • Sarr, Mare
  • Goeschl, Timo
  • Swanson, Tim

Abstract

The value of genetic resources for R&D is placed within the framework of discussions concerning sustainability. We assess the extent to which society is able to invest now in order to prepare for future risks and uncertainties in the arrival of biological problems. Each of the approaches to valuation is discussed within this setting. Weitzman's approach to measurement is seen to be one that considers society's current objectives and information to be little relevant to future risks and uncertainties. Sedjo, Simpson and Reids' search-theoretic perspective is seen to reduce future uncertainties to highly tractable and known problems. Goeschl and Swanson's bio-technological approach also constrains the problem to be one without any real uncertainty, and focuses on the need to maintain genetic resources in order to maintain control over the problem. Kassar and Lasserre place uncertainty at the core of the problem, and assess the extent to which additional value is added by this feature. In sum all of the approaches to the problem evince a pessimism regarding the capacity of future technological change automatically to resolve these problems. Given this, the value of genetic resources depends on beliefs concerning the ability of current objectives to anticipate future risks and uncertainties.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 184-193

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:2:p:184-193

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Biodiversity Genetic resources Risk and uncertainty Technology change;

References

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  1. Costello, Christopher & Ward, Michael, 2006. "Search, bioprospecting and biodiversity conservation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 615-626, November.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
  3. Weitzman, Martin L., 2000. "Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy," Scholarly Articles 3693703, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Rausser, Gordon C. & Small, Arthur A., 2000. "Valuing Research Leads: Bioprospecting and the Conservation of Genetic Resources," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt4t56m5b8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  5. Kassar, Ilhem & Lasserre, Pierre, 2004. "Species preservation and biodiversity value: a real options approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 857-879, September.
  6. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2002. "The Social Value of Biodiversity for R&D," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(4), pages 477-504, August.
  7. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
  8. Solow Andrew & Polasky Stephen & Broadus James, 1993. "On the Measurement of Biological Diversity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 60-68, January.
  9. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joël Houdet & Michel Trommetter & Jacques Weber, 2009. "Changing business perceptions regarding biodiversity: from impact mitigation towards new strategies and practices," Working Papers hal-00412875, HAL.
  2. Timothy Swanson & Ben Groom, 2012. "Regulating Biodiversity: What is the Problem?," CIES Research Paper series 08-2012, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
  3. Tim Swanson & Ben Groom, 2012. "Regulating Global Biodiversity: What is the Problem?," Working Papers 2012.31, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Biodiversity Prospecting over Time and under Uncertainty: A Theory of Sorts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-163/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Mare Sarr & Tim Swanson, 2011. "Intellectual Property and Biodiversity: When and Where are Property Rights Important?," Working Papers 2011.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Jean-Michel Salles, 2011. "Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: why linking economic values with Nature?," Working Papers 11-24, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2011.

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