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What drives long-run biodiversity change? New insights from combining economics, palaeoecology and environmental history

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Author Info

  • Hanley, Nick
  • Tinch, Dugald
  • Angelopoulos, Konstantinos
  • Davies, Althea
  • Barbier, Edward B.
  • Watson, Fiona

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach for understanding the effects of economic factors on biodiversity change over the long run. We illustrate this approach by studying the determinants of biodiversity change in upland Scotland from 1600 to 2000. The measure of biodiversity used is a proxy for plant species diversity, constructed using statistical analysis of palaeoecological (pollen) data. We assemble a new data set of historical land use and prices over 11 sites during this 400-year period; this data set also includes information on changes in agricultural technology, climate and land ownership. A panel model is then estimated that controls for both supply and demand shifts over time. A main result is that prices that act in our model as a proxy for livestock numbers do indeed impact on biodiversity, with higher prices leading to lower biodiversity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 5-20

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:5-20

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Agricultural development Biodiversity Palaeoecology Panel models Instrumental variables;

References

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  1. Robert C. Allen, 1999. "Tracking the agricultural revolution in England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 52(2), pages 209-235, 05.
  2. A. J. S. Gibson & T. C. Smout, 1995. "Regional prices and market regions: the evolution of the early modern Scottish grain market," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 48(2), pages 258-282, 05.
  3. Armsworth, Paul R. & Kendall, Bruce E. & Davis, Frank W., 2004. "An introduction to biodiversity concepts for environmental economists," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 115-136, June.
  4. Fuller, Wayne A, 1977. "Some Properties of a Modification of the Limited Information Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 939-53, May.
  5. John Shea, 1997. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 348-352, May.
  6. Barbier, E B & Burgess, J C, 2001. " The Economics of Tropical Deforestation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 413-33, July.
  7. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
  8. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Wyhowski, Donald, 1992. "Simultaneous equations and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 151-181.
  9. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Acs, Szvetlana & Armsworth, Paul R & Dallimer, Martin & Gaston, Kevin J & Hanley, Nicholas & Robertson, Philip & Wilson, Paul, 2008. "The effect of decoupling on marginal agricultural systems: implications for farm incomes, land use and upland ecology," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-18, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Nick Hanley & Simanti Banerjee & Gareth D. Lennox & Paul R. Armsworth, 2012. "How should we incentivize private landowners to ‘produce’ more biodiversity?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 93-113, Spring.
  3. Izdebski, Adam & Koloch, Grzegorz & Słoczyński, Tymon & Tycner-Wolicka, Marta, 2014. "On the Use of Palynological Data in Economic History: New Methods and an Application to Agricultural Output in Central Europe, 0–2000 AD," MPRA Paper 54582, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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