The economic valuation of biodiversity as an abstract good
The notion of an economic valuation of biodiversity raises major philosophical and practical challenges, especially due to the fact that biodiversity is an abstract good. Insights from political philosophy and philosophy of language can help to clarify the reliability and scope of the current economic methods that can be used for the purpose of valuing it. The analogy with another abstract good, justice, indeed shows that thinking about abstract goods is a very specific exercise. If they do not take account of this specificity, applications of hedonic and contingent valuation methods can hardly claim to be relevant to value biodiversity. Rawls' theory of justice provides for the conceptual tools to overcome this problem. A reinterpretation, based on the theory of counterfactuals, allows generalizing this account of justice to outline a theory of thinking about abstract goods. This new framework emphasizes the importance of the institutional context in determining the reliability of thinking about abstract goods. It points toward substantial reforms of the methodology of economic valuation. Specifically, it suggests reinterpreting valuation as a dynamic expressive process, where initial steps aim at reinforcing the reliability of later steps through an institutional transformation and stabilization of preferences for abstract goods.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
- Heal, Geoffrey, 2004. "Economics of biodiversity: an introduction," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 105-114, June.
- Palmquist, Raymond B., 2006. "Property Value Models," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 763-819 Elsevier.
- L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999.
"Political Economics and Public Finance,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2235, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2002.
"A Theory of Diversity,"
Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1155-1198, May.
- Norton, Bryan G. & Noonan, Douglas, 2007. "Ecology and valuation: Big changes needed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 664-675, September.
- W. Michael Hanemann, 1994. "Valuing the Environment through Contingent Valuation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 19-43, Fall.
- Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
- Amartya K. Sen, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 307-317.
- Weitzman, M.L., 1991.
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1553, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Weitzman, M.L., 1992. "Diversity Functions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1610, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- S. B. Kask & S. A. Maani, 1992. "Uncertainty, Information, and Hedonic Pricing," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(2), pages 170-184.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
- Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1973. "Behaviour and the Concept of Preference," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 241-59, August.
- Stéphanie Aulong & K. Erdlenbruch & C. Figuières, 2005. "Un tour d'horizon des critères d'évaluation de la diversité biologique," Post-Print hal-00452144, HAL.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:10:p:1707-1714. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.