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Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation

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  • Spash, Clive L.
  • Hanley, Nick

Abstract

Thi~ paper con~iders the nature of preferences for the preservation of biodiversity, and the extent to which individuab are well-informed about biodiversity. We present evidence that the elicitation of monetary bids to pay for biodiversity preservation, as required for cost-benefit analysis, fails as a measure of welfare changes due to the prevalence of preferences which neoclassical economics defines as lexicographic. That is, a ~ignificant proportion of individuals refuse to make trade-offs which require the substitution of biodiver~ity for other goods. In addition, we show that understanding of the biodiver~ity concept is extremely limited, raising concerns over a reliance on stated preferences, as revealed in contingent valuation studies, for decision-making on this issue. Results from two samples (students and the general public) are described.
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Suggested Citation

  • Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, Nick, 1995. "Preferences, information and biodiversity preservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 191-208, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:12:y:1995:i:3:p:191-208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Knetsch, Jack L., 1990. "Environmental policy implications of disparities between willingness to pay and compensation demanded measures of values," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 227-237, May.
    4. Nick Hanley & Alistair Munro, "undated". "The Effects of Information in Contingent Markets for Enviromental Goods," Working Papers Series e94/5, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    5. Willig, Robert D, 1976. "Consumer's Surplus without Apology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 589-597, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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