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When is a “wait and see” approach to invasive species justified?

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  • Sims, Charles
  • Finnoff, David

Abstract

Predictions of damages and damages that might be avoided from invasive species control policies are marred by uncertainty that has both economic and ecological roots. Public policies directed at invasive species typically lag their detection. One possible explanation is the coupling of uncertainty with political and economic commitments creates an incentive to delay a policy response in order to gain more information on how damaging the invasion will be – a “wait and see” approach. We investigate whether this rationale is justified by identifying invasion characteristics that require the wait and see approach often adopted by lawmakers and government agencies. The model shows that the source of uncertainty and degree of policy irreversibility matter and allows the classification of invasive species with a low rate of spread and low levels of uncertainty as those where policies can be optimally timed in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Sims, Charles & Finnoff, David, 2013. "When is a “wait and see” approach to invasive species justified?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 235-255.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:35:y:2013:i:3:p:235-255
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2013.02.001
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Sims & David Finnoff & Jason F. Shogren, 2016. "Bioeconomics of invasive species: using real options theory to integrate ecology, economics, and risk management," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 61-70, February.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:107-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Liu, Yanxu & Sims, Charles, 2016. "Spatial-dynamic externalities and coordination in invasive species control," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 23-38.
    4. Yemshanov, Denys & Koch, Frank H. & Lu, Bo & Lyons, D. Barry & Prestemon, Jeffrey P. & Scarr, Taylor & Koehler, Klaus, 2014. "There is no silver bullet: The value of diversification in planning invasive species surveillance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 61-72.
    5. Bate, Andrew M. & Jones, Glyn & Kleczkowski, Adam & MacLeod, Alan & Naylor, Rebecca & Timmis, Jon & Touza, Julia & White, Piran C.L., 2016. "Modelling the impact and control of an infectious disease in a plant nursery with infected plant material inputs," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 334(C), pages 27-43.
    6. C.E. Dangerfield & A.E. Whalley & Nick Hanley & C.A. Gilligan, 2016. "What a difference a stochastic process makes: epidemiological-based real options models of optimal treatment of disease," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2016-03, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    7. Strand, Jon, 2017. "Modeling the marginal value of rainforest losses: A dynamic value function approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 322-329.
    8. Jesper S. Schou & Frank Jensen, 2017. "Management of invasive species: Should we prevent introduction or mitigate damages?," IFRO Working Paper 2017/06, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    9. Yemshanov, Denys & Haight, Robert G. & Koch, Frank H. & Lu, Bo & Venette, Robert & Fournier, Ronald E. & Turgeon, Jean J., 2017. "Robust Surveillance and Control of Invasive Species Using a Scenario Optimization Approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 86-98.
    10. repec:oup:renvpo:v:12:y:2018:i:1:p:92-112. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Irreversibilities; Uncertainty; Option value; Invasive species spread; Policy implementation;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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