Framing the Valuation of Ecosystem Services: A Theoretical Discussion of the Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Articulating Values that Reflect the Economic Contributions of Ecological Phenomena
This paper presents a theoretical discussion concerning possibilities for designing environmental value articulation procedures that respect the basic non-economic character of ecological phenomena. The question of how to estimate the economic value of ecosystem services contributions is a particularly important issue for agricultural economics because of the dependence of agricultural production on the life cycles and biological viability of ecosystems (sic Georgescu-Roegen, 1966). Distinguishing between two basic types of ecosystem services values – demand vs supply based – this paper aims to describe a theoretical context within which it may be possible to develop recommendations regarding procedures and associated institutional structures that can support the expression of economically relevant measures of the economic worth of a given ecological phenomena that are also ecologically sound. Finally it is proposed that there are strong synergies between the problem structure of this issue and the theoretical contributions of Herbert Simon, concerning bounded rationality and further work on the details of these links is recommended.
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