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Problems in valuing the benefits of biodiversity protection

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  • Nick Hanley
  • Clive Spash
  • Lorna Walker

Abstract

This paper considers two problems in valuing the benefits of biodiversity protection. These are, firstly, that preferences for biodiversity protection may be lexicographic rather than utilitarian. The more individuals for whom this is true, the less is cost-benefit analysis validated as a means of decision making for biodiversity protection, since lexicographic preferences are incompatible with the Kaldor-Hicks Compensation Test. Secondly, people may be poorly informed about the meaning of biodiversity, complicating the use of contingent valuation as a means of measuring preservation benefits. This paper first discusses the meaning of biodiversity, and trends in diversity over time. We offer some empirical evidence with regard to lexicographic preferences; consider the implications of having poorly-informed consumers; and then report the results of a contingent valuation study of biodiversity protection with varying levels of information. We find that willingness to pay for biodiversity protection increases with the level of information provided. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 5 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 249-272

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:3:p:249-272

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

Related research

Keywords: Biodiversity; information; lexicographic preferences; contingent valuation; cost-benefit analysis;

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References

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  1. Nick Hanley & Clive L Spash, 1993. "Preferences, Information and Biodiversity Preservation," Working Papers Series 93/12, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. V. Kerry Smith, 1993. "Nonmarket Valuation of Environmental Resources: An Interpretive Appraisal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-26.
  3. 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.
  4. Harrison, Glenn W., 1992. "Valuing public goods with the contingent valuation method: A critique of kahneman and knetsch," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 248-257, November.
  5. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
  6. Hanley, Nick, 1990. "The Economics of Nitrate Pollution," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 129-51.
  7. Harris, Charles C. & Brown, Greg, 1992. "Gain, loss and personal responsibility: The role of motivation in resource valuation decision-making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 73-92, March.
  8. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-47, June.
  9. Hanley, Nick & Craig, Stephen, 1991. "Wilderness development decisions and the Krutilla-Fisher model: The case of Scotland's 'flow country'," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 145-164, November.
  10. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
  11. Whittington, Dale & Smith, V. Kerry & Okorafor, Apia & Okore, Augustine & Liu, Jin Long & McPhail, Alexander, 1992. "Giving respondents time to think in contingent valuation studies: A developing country application," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 205-225, May.
  12. Nick Hanley, 1992. "Are there environmental limits to cost benefit analysis?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 33-59, January.
  13. Thomas H. Stevens & Jaime Echeverria & Ronald J. Glass & Tim Hager & Thomas A. More, 1991. "Measuring the Existence Value of Wildlife: What Do CVM Estimates Really Show?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 390-400.
  14. Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, Nick, 1994. "Discussion Paper in Ecological Economics," Discussion Papers in Ecological Economics 140531, University of Stirling, Department of Economics.
  15. Nick Hanley & Alistair Munro, . "The Effects of Information in Contingent Markets for Enviromental Goods," Working Papers Series e94/5, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  16. Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
  17. Edwards, Steven F., 1988. "Option prices for groundwater protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 475-487, December.
  18. Harris, Charles C. & Driver, B. L. & McLaughlin, William J., 1989. "Improving the contingent valuation method: A psychological perspective," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 213-229, November.
  19. Todd Sandler, 1993. "Tropical Deforestation: Markets and Market Failures," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(3), pages 225-233.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vincent Martinet & Fabian Blanchard, 2009. "Fishery externalities and biodiversity: trade-offs between the viability of shrimp trawling and the conservation of Frigatebirds in French Guiana," Working Papers 32090, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Menzel, Susanne & Wiek, Arnim, 2009. "Valuation in morally charged situations: The role of deontological stances and intuition for trade-off making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2198-2206, June.
  3. Aslaksen, Iulie & Ingeborg Myhr, Anne, 2007. ""The worth of a wildflower": Precautionary perspectives on the environmental risk of GMOs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 489-497, January.
  4. D. Strijker & F. Sijtsma & D. Wiersma, 2000. "Evaluation of Nature Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(4), pages 363-378, August.
  5. Veisten, Knut, 2007. "Contingent valuation controversies: Philosophic debates about economic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 204-232, April.
  6. Iulie Aslaksen & Anne Ingeborg Myhr, 2006. "“The worth of a wildflower” Precautionary perspectives on the environmental risk of GMOs," Discussion Papers 476, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  7. Kamel Louhichi & Guillermo Flichman & Jean Boisson, 2010. "Bio-economic modelling of soil erosion externalities and policy options: a Tunisian case study," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 145-167, July.
  8. MacMillan, Douglas & Hanley, Nick & Buckland, Steve, 1995. "Valuing Biodiversity Losses Due To Acid Deposition: A Contingent Valuation Study Of Uncertain Environmental Gains," Discussion Papers in Ecological Economics 140539, University of Stirling, Department of Economics.
  9. Strijker, Dirk & Sijtsma, F.J. & Bettels, K., 2000. "Evaluating Nature Conservation: The Case of Meadow Birds in The Netherlands," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(2), August.
  10. Oliver Fromm, 2000. "Ecological Structure and Functions of Biodiversity as Elements of Its Total Economic Value," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(3), pages 303-328, July.
  11. Stefan Mann, 2007. "Comparing Interpersonal Comparisons in Utility Theory and Happiness Research," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, April.
  12. 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.
  13. David Pearce & Giles Atkinson, 1998. "The concept of sustainable development: An evaluation of its usefulness ten years after Brundtland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 134(III), pages 251-269, September.
  14. Felix Schläpfer & Michael Tucker & Irmi Seidl, 2002. "Returns from Hay Cultivation in Fertilized Low Diversity and Non-Fertilized High Diversity Grassland," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 89-100, January.
  15. Oliver Froer, 2003. "Using Stated Preference Methods for Biodiversity Valuation. A critical analysis," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 217/2003, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.

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