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Using Land As A Control Variable In Density-Dependent Bioeconomic Models


  • Alexander, Robert R.
  • Shields, David W.


The bioeconomic analysis of endangered species without consumptive values can be problematic when analysed with density-dependent models that assume a fixed environment size. Most bioeconomic models use harvest as a control variable, yet when modelling non-harvestable species, frequently the only variable under control of conservationists is the quantity of habitat to be made available. The authors explore the implications of this in a model developed to analyse the potential population recovery of New Zealand's yellow-eyed penguin. The penguin faces severe competition with man for the terrestrial resources required for breeding and has declined in population to perilously low levels. The model was developed to estimate the land use required for recovery and preservation of the species and to compare the results to current tourism-driven conservation efforts. It is demonstrated that land may serve as a useful control variable in bioeconomic models and that such a model may be useful for determining whether sufficient incentives exist to preserve a species. However, the model may generate less useful results for providing a specific estimate of the optimal allocation of land to such a species.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander, Robert R. & Shields, David W., 2002. "Using Land As A Control Variable In Density-Dependent Bioeconomic Models," Discussion Papers in Natural Resource Economics 23694, Massey University, Centre for Applied Economics and Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:masdpn:23694

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alexander, Robert R., 2000. "Modelling species extinction: the case for non-consumptive values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 259-269, November.
    2. Erwin H. Bulte & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 1999. "Economics of Antipoaching Enforcement and the Ivory Trade Ban," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 453-466.
    3. Clark, Colin W & Clarke, Frank H & Munro, Gordon R, 1979. "The Optimal Exploitation of Renewable Resource Stocks: Problems of Irreversible Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 25-47, January.
    4. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124-124.
    5. Clark, Colin W, 1973. "Profit Maximization and the Extinction of Animal Species," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 950-961, July-Aug..
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    Cited by:

    1. Eppink, Florian V. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2007. "Ecological theories and indicators in economic models of biodiversity loss and conservation: A critical review," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 284-293, March.

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    Land Economics/Use;


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