Economic valuation of biodiversity: A comparative study
In recent years, an intensive debate on the economic valuation of biodiversity has entered the environmental-economics literature. The present paper seeks to offer first a critical review of key concepts that are essential for a proper understanding of such evaluation issues. Particular attention is given here to various monetary valuation approaches and to comparative (i.e., meta-analytical) methods from the perspective of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Several illustrative examples are presented in order to highlight the usefulness of the various approaches discussed. Next, an attempt is made to infer general findings and lessons from past applied research by means of meta-analysis. In this context, a multi-dimensional technique originating from the field of artificial intelligence is deployed. It allows us to identify the most important variables responsible for changes in economic estimates of biodiversity.
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