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Harvesting in an integrated general equilibrium model

  • Thomas Eichner


  • Rüdiger Pethig


Harvesting of prey biomass is analyzed in an integrated ecological-economic system whose submodels, a predator–prey ecosystem and a simple economy, are microfounded dynamic general equilibrium models. These submodels are interdependent because the ecosystem responds to harvesting—through the reactions of optimizing individual organisms—by changing the provision of public ecosystem services to consumers. General analytical results are derived regarding the impact of harvesting policies on short-run equilibria of both submodels, on population dynamics, and on stationary states of the integrated model. A key insight is that prey biomass carries a positive ecosystem price which needs to be added as a tax mark-up to the economic price of harvested biomass to attain allocative efficiency. Further information on the dynamics is gained by resorting to numerical analysis of the policy regimes of zero harvesting, laissez-faire harvesting and efficient harvesting. It “... is a matter of weighing costs and benefits of taking action, whether the action is the “inert” one of leaving resources alone in order to conserve them, or whether it involves exploiting a resource ... for so-called material ends”. Pearce (1976, p. 320) Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 233-252

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:1:p:233-252
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  1. Jeljer Hoekstra & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2001. "Harvesting and Conversation in a Predator-Prey System," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Thomas Christiaans & Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2005. "A Micro-Level 'Consumer Approach' to Species Population Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1530, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Thomas Crocker & John Tschirhart, 1992. "Ecosystems, externalities, and economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(6), pages 551-567, November.
  4. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "The impact of scarcity and abundance in food chains on species population dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 109-03, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  5. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2007. "Pricing the Ecosystem and Taxing Ecosystem Services: A General Equilibrium Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1991, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "A Microfoundation of Predator-Prey Dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 110-03, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  7. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2006. "An Analytical Foundation of the Ratio-Dependent Predator-Prey Model," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 121-132, August.
  8. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-60, September.
  9. Wolfgang Ströbele & Holger Wacker, 1995. "The economics of harvesting predator-prey systems," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 65-81, February.
  10. Finnoff, David & Tschirhart, John, 2003. "Harvesting in an eight-species ecosystem," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 589-611, May.
  11. David Finnoff & John Tschirhart, 2003. "Protecting an Endangered Species While Harvesting Its Prey in a General Equilibrium Ecosystem Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 160-180.
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