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The Importance of Ethics in Environmental Economics with a Focus on Existence Values

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  • Olof Johansson-Stenman

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Abstract

The importance of ethics and fundamental value judgments in environmental economics is high-lighted by discussing the controversial concept of existence values. The social value depends crucially on the social objective, which is not necessarily self-evident, e.g., since some individuals tend to value nature intrinsically. It is shown that the motives behind willingness to pay figures matter for the social value, and the conventional view that people respond to CV questions solely in order to maximize their own utility or well-being is questioned. The importance of being explicit about value judgments is emphasized, and it is argued that environmental economics should consider non-conventional assumptions which take the social context into account to a larger degree. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 429-442

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:11:y:1998:i:3:p:429-442

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: altruism; contingent valuation; ethics; existence values; motives; simplifying assumptions; welfare theory;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mejía Cubillos, Javier, 2012. "Ética y Justicia. Reflexiones a partir de The Idea of Justice de Amartya Sen
    [Ethics and justice. Reflections on The Idea of ​​Justice by Amartya Sen]
    ," MPRA Paper 37458, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stephen Harrison & Suh, J., 2005. "A Test for the Presence of Genuine or Pure Altruistic Motives in Non-Market Valuation: A Case Study Using Choice Modeling," Discussion Papers Series 338, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  3. Clifford S. Russell & Thomas Bue Bjorner & Christopher D. Clark, 2001. "Searching for Evidence of Alternative Preferences, Public as Opposed to Private," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0101, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  4. Czajkowski, Mikolaj & Hanley, Nicholas, 2008. "How to 'Sell' an Environmental Good: Using Labels to Investigate Scope Effects," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-16, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  5. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2004. "Efficient nonanthropocentric nature protection," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 115-04, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  6. John M. Gowdy, 2004. "Toward a New Welfare Foundation for Sustainability," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0401, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  7. Ojea, Elena & Loureiro, Maria L., 2007. "Altruistic, egoistic and biospheric values in willingness to pay (WTP) for wildlife," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 807-814, September.
  8. Russell, Clifford S. & Bjorner, Thomas Bue & Clark, Christopher D., 2003. "Searching for evidence of alternative preferences, public as opposed to private," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-27, May.
  9. Gowdy, John, 2005. "Toward a new welfare economics for sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 211-222, April.
  10. Schilizzi, Steven, 1999. "Deciding between development and preservation of a natural asset: a way out of the impasse?," 1999 Conference (43th), January 20-22, 1999, Christchurch, New Zealand 124547, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  11. Christian Azar, 1998. "Are Optimal CO 2 Emissions Really Optimal?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 301-315, April.
  12. Johansson-Stenman , Olof & Svedsäter, Henrik, 2003. "Self Image And Choice Experiments: Hypothetical And Actual Willingness To Pay," Working Papers in Economics 94, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "Environmental Policy when People's Preferences are Inconsistent, Non-Welfaristic, or simply Not Developed," Working Papers in Economics 34, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Reiling, Stephen D., 2000. "Environmental attitudes, motivations, and contingent valuation of nonuse values: a case study involving endangered species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-107, January.
  15. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2006. "Cost Benefit Rules when Nature Counts," Working Papers in Economics 198, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 09 May 2006.

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