Inserting Ecological Detail into Economic Analysis: Agricultural Nutrient Loading of an Estuary Fishery
Linked general equilibrium economic and ecological models are connected through agricultural runoff and the fisheries. They are applied to a North Carolina estuary in which agricultural runoff alters phytoplankton densities and the resulting hypoxia leads to diminished fisheries. The effects of hypoxia on multiple species across space are analyzed and the joint economic and ecosystem wide response to a policy of reduced runoff is quantified. The approach provides an assessment of changes in ecological welfare (in terms of species populations) and economic welfare (in terms of equivalent variations) following reductions in runoff.
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