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A note on ivory trade and elephant conservation


  • Bulte, Erwin H.
  • van Kooten, G. Cornelis


To protect the elephant, trade in ivory has been banned since 1990. In this paper, we demonstrate that this ban's effect on elephant populations is ambiguous. Depending on the discount rate, among other things, the trade ban can either increase or decrease optimal population size. If the decision-maker's discount rate exceeds a certain threshold, the optimum stock of elephants is greater with a trade ban. Since the threshold is in the range of possible social discount rates, the success of the trade ban in promoting elephant conservation will vary spatially and temporally, depending on the characteristics and level of development of countries with significant elephant populations.

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  • Bulte, Erwin H. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 1996. "A note on ivory trade and elephant conservation," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 433-443, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:1:y:1996:i:04:p:433-443_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2006. "Protecting the African Elephant: A Dynamic Bioeconomic Model of Ivory Trade," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21206, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Bulte, Erwin H. & Kooten, G. Cornelis van, 2002. "Downward sloping demand for environmental amenities and international compensation: elephant conservation and strategic culling," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 27(1), May.
    3. Fleming, Christopher M. & Alexander, Robert R., 2002. "Single Species Versus Multiple Species Models: The Economic Implications," Discussion Papers in Natural Resource Economics 23693, Massey University, Centre for Applied Economics and Policy Studies.
    4. Collins, Alan & Cox, Caroline & Pamment, Nick, 2017. "Culture, Conservation and Crime: Regulating Ivory Markets for Antiques and Crafts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 186-194.
    5. Fleming, Christopher M. & Alexander, Robert R., 2002. "The Economic Implications of a Multiple Species Approach to Bioeconomic Modelling," 2002 Conference (46th), February 13-15, 2002, Canberra 125082, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    6. Alexander, Robert R., 2000. "Modelling species extinction: the case for non-consumptive values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 259-269, November.
    7. Bulte, Erwin H. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 1999. "Economic efficiency, resource conservation and the ivory trade ban," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 171-181, February.
    8. Heltberg, Rasmus, 2001. "Impact of the ivory trade ban on poaching incentives: a numerical example," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 189-195, February.
    9. Robert Innes & George Frisvold, 2009. "The Economics of Endangered Species," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 485-512, September.
    10. Fischer, Carolyn, 2004. "The complex interactions of markets for endangered species products," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 926-953, September.
    11. Burton, Michael, 1999. "An assessment of alternative methods of estimating the effect of the ivory trade ban on poaching effort," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 93-106, July.
    12. Anne Borge Johannesen, 2003. "Designing Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs): Illegal hunting, wildlife conservation and the welfare of the local people," Working Paper Series 3704, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

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