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An institutional analysis of methods for environmental appraisal

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  • Vatn, Arild
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    Abstract

    This paper focuses on a set of issues when choosing between methods for environmental appraisal. Approaches like cost benefit analysis/contingent valuation, multicriteria analysis and deliberative methods are based on very different assumptions concerning the characteristics of environmental resources, the capacities of the individuals involved and the role the methods play in framing the process. The present paper views environmental appraisal methods as institutional structures. They are seen as rules concerning a) who should participate and in which capacity, b) what is considered data and which form data should take, and c) rules about how a conclusion is reached. Specifically, the choice of method defines the logic of the appraisal process and next influences the output. While cost benefit analysis is based on the assumption of individual rationality, deliberative methods assume that individuals can act according to social rationality. The first part of the paper is devoted to clarifying what institutions are and their role in the valuation process. Second, the main features of environmental or ecosystem services and the demands they raise for decision-making are described. A general framework for evaluating appraisal methods is then developed. Finally, this structure is elaborated in more detail as a basis for deciding over the choices of methods in the case of evaluating ecosystem services. A set of unresolved issues are identified -- especially related to how the choice of appraisal methods themselves should be instituted.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8-9 (June)
    Pages: 2207-2215

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:8-9:p:2207-2215

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Institutions Individual rationality Social rationality Value articulating institutions Deliberative institutions Multicriteria analysis Contingent valuation;

    References

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    1. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521425230, October.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
    3. Vatn, Arild, 2005. "Rationality, institutions and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 203-217, November.
    4. Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521415019, October.
    5. Vatn Arild & Bromley Daniel W., 1994. "Choices without Prices without Apologies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 129-148, March.
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    10. Spash, Clive L., 2007. "Deliberative monetary valuation (DMV): Issues in combining economic and political processes to value environmental change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 690-699, September.
    11. Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Beyond Homo economicus: evidence from experimental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 311-322, December.
    12. Arild Vatn, 2004. "Environmental Valuation and Rationality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-18.
    13. Giuseppe Munda, 2003. "Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE)," UHE Working papers 2003_04, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
    14. Talbot Page, 1997. "On the Problem of Achieving Efficiency and Equity, Intergenerationally," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 580-596.
    15. Luigi Pellizzoni, 2003. "Uncertainty and Participatory Democracy," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 12(2), pages 195-224, May.
    16. Vatn, Arild, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and institutions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 188-196, January.
    17. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    18. Romp, Graham, 1997. "Game Theory: Introduction and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198775027.
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    20. John O'Neill, 2001. "Representing people, representing nature, representing the world," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(4), pages 483-500, August.
    21. Richard B. Howarth & Matthew A. Wilson, 2006. "A Theoretical Approach to Deliberative Valuation: Aggregation by Mutual Consent," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-16.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kvakkestad, Valborg & Vatn, Arild, 2011. "Governing uncertain and unknown effects of genetically modified crops," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 524-532, January.
    2. Lo, Alex Y. & Spash, Clive L., 2011. "Articulation of Plural Values in Deliberative Monetary Valuation: Beyond Preference Economisation and Moralisation," MPRA Paper 30002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Trutnevyte, Evelina & Stauffacher, Michael & Scholz, Roland W., 2011. "Supporting energy initiatives in small communities by linking visions with energy scenarios and multi-criteria assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7884-7895.
    4. Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1219-1227, April.
    5. Primmer, Eeva, 2011. "Policy, project and operational networks: Channels and conduits for learning in forest biodiversity conservation," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 132-142.
    6. Lele, Sharachchandra & Srinivasan, Veena, 2013. "Disaggregated economic impact analysis incorporating ecological and social trade-offs and techno-institutional context: A case from the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 98-112.
    7. F. Mameli & G. Marletto, 2009. "Can national survey data be used to select a core set of indicators for monitoring the sustainability of urban mobility policies?," Working Paper CRENoS 200911, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    8. Marletto, Gerardo & Mameli, Francesca, 2012. "A participative procedure to select indicators of policies for sustainable urban mobility. Outcomes of a national test," MPRA Paper 36433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Paavola, Jouni, 2010. "Sewage pollution and institutional and technological change in the United States, 1830-1915," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2517-2524, October.
    10. Paavola, Jouni, 2011. "Reprint of: Sewage Pollution and Institutional and Technological Change in the United States, 1830-1915," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1289-1296, May.

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