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The Social Value of Biodiversity for R&D

  • Timo Goeschl

    ()

  • Timothy Swanson

The value of genetic resources for use in research and development (R&D)activities has been the subject of a literature modelling the activity as onewhere individual firms engage in optimal search. Here we develop a moregeneralised framework in which genetic resources are used in R&D at thebase of an industry that addresses recurring problems of resistance, as inthe pharmaceutical or plant breeding industries. The R&D process is onein which firms are engaging in a continuing contest of innovation againsta background of both creative destruction (Schumpeterian competition) andadaptive destruction (natural selection and adaptation). This frameworkdemonstrates that the search model is conceptually inadequate because itfails to incorporate the important dynamic characteristics of biologicalphenomena. We then demonstrate the important differences between firm-based valuation of genetic resources and the social value of geneticresources for use in this contest of innovation. There are six externalitiesin private patent-based genetic resource valuation, and five of theseindicate that private valuations will under-estimate social values. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1019869119754
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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 477-504

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:22:y:2002:i:4:p:477-504
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  1. Barrett, Scott, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental preservation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 289-300, November.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Mason, Robin & Swanson, Timothy, 2002. "The costs of uncoordinated regulation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 143-167, January.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L., 2000. "Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy," Scholarly Articles 3693703, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Amy Craft & R. Simpson, 2001. "The Value of Biodiversity in Pharmaceutical Research with Differentiated Products," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17, January.
  8. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Other publications TiSEM 6784bb12-71fb-45a5-bf7e-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  9. 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 163-85, February.
  10. Sedjo, Roger & Simpson, R. David, 1996. "Valuation of Biodiversity for Use in New Product Research in a Model of Sequential Search," Discussion Papers dp-96-27, Resources For the Future.
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