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The value of conserving genetic resources for R&D: A survey

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  • Sarr, Mare
  • Goeschl, Timo
  • Swanson, Tim

Abstract

The value of genetic resources for R&D is placed within the framework of discussions concerning sustainability. We assess the extent to which society is able to invest now in order to prepare for future risks and uncertainties in the arrival of biological problems. Each of the approaches to valuation is discussed within this setting. Weitzman's approach to measurement is seen to be one that considers society's current objectives and information to be little relevant to future risks and uncertainties. Sedjo, Simpson and Reids' search-theoretic perspective is seen to reduce future uncertainties to highly tractable and known problems. Goeschl and Swanson's bio-technological approach also constrains the problem to be one without any real uncertainty, and focuses on the need to maintain genetic resources in order to maintain control over the problem. Kassar and Lasserre place uncertainty at the core of the problem, and assess the extent to which additional value is added by this feature. In sum all of the approaches to the problem evince a pessimism regarding the capacity of future technological change automatically to resolve these problems. Given this, the value of genetic resources depends on beliefs concerning the ability of current objectives to anticipate future risks and uncertainties.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarr, Mare & Goeschl, Timo & Swanson, Tim, 2008. "The value of conserving genetic resources for R&D: A survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 184-193, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:2:p:184-193
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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. Gordon C. Rausser & Arthur A. Small, 2000. "Valuing Research Leads: Bioprospecting and the Conservation of Genetic Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 173-206, February.
    3. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2002. "The Social Value of Biodiversity for R&D," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(4), pages 477-504, August.
    4. Costello, Christopher & Ward, Michael, 2006. "Search, bioprospecting and biodiversity conservation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 615-626, November.
    5. Kassar, Ilhem & Lasserre, Pierre, 2004. "Species preservation and biodiversity value: a real options approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 857-879, September.
    6. Simpson, R David & Sedjo, Roger A & Reid, John W, 1996. "Valuing Biodiversity for Use in Pharmaceutical Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 163-185, February.
    7. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
    8. Martin L. Weitzman, 2000. "Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 237-263.
    9. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Swanson & Ben Groom, 2012. "Regulating global biodiversity: what is the problem?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 114-138, Spring.
    2. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Biodiversity Prospecting over Time and under Uncertainty: A Theory of Sorts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-163/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Tapio Palokangas, 2017. "Regulation versus subsidies in conservation with a self-interested policy maker," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 19(1), pages 183-196, January.
    4. Joël Houdet & Michel Trommetter & Jacques Weber, 2009. "Changing business perceptions regarding biodiversity: from impact mitigation towards new strategies and practices," Working Papers hal-00412875, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. Mare Sarr & Tim Swanson, 2011. "Intellectual Property and Biodiversity: When and Where are Property Rights Important?," Working Papers 2011.79, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Houdet, Joël & Trommetter, Michel & Weber, Jacques, 2012. "Understanding changes in business strategies regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 37-46.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12262 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Timothy Swanson & Ben Groom, 2012. "Regulating Biodiversity: What is the Problem?," CIES Research Paper series 08-2012, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.

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