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Linking Policies for Biodiversity Conservation with Advances in Behavioral Economics

  • Tisdell, Clement A.

Global biodiversity loss and its consequences for human welfare and sustainable development have become major concerns. Economists have, therefore, given increasing attention to the policy issues involved in the management of genetic resources. To do so, they often apply empirical methods developed in behavioral and experimental economics to estimate economic values placed on genetic resources. This trend away from almost exclusive dependence on axiomatic methods is welcomed. However, major valuation methods used in behavioral economics raise new scientific challenges. Possibly the most important of these include deficiencies in the knowledge of the public (and researchers) about genetic resources, implications for the formation of values of supplying information to focal individuals, and limits to rationality. These issues are explored for stated-preference techniques of valuation (e.g., contingent valuation) as well as revealed preference techniques, especially the travel cost method. They are illustrated by Australian and Asian examples. Taking into account behavioral and psychological models and empirical evidence, particular attention is given to how elicitation of preferences, and supply of information to individuals, influences their preferences about biodiversity. Policy consequences are outlined.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/55087
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Paper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 55087.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:55087
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  1. Carson, Richard T & Flores, Nicholas A, 2000. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt75k752s7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Nick Hanley, 1990. "Are There Environmental Limits to Cost Benefit Analysis?," Working Papers Series 90/6, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Tisdell, Clem, 2003. "Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 365-376, July.
  5. Sent, Esther-Mirjam, 2002. "Advances in Behavioral Economics: Essays in Honor of Horst Todt; Friedel Bolle and Michael Carlberg (Eds.); Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg & New York, 2001; pp. viii + 234, ISBN 3 7909 1358 3 ([UK pound]2," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 287-289, April.
  6. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
  7. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Reiling, Stephen D., 2000. "Environmental attitudes, motivations, and contingent valuation of nonuse values: a case study involving endangered species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-107, January.
  8. Karl C. Samples & John A. Dixon & KMarcia M. Gowen, 1986. "Information Disclosure and Endangered Species Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 306-312.
  9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
  10. Jennifer Tkac, 1998. "The Effects of Information on Willingness-to-Pay Values of Endangered Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1214-1220.
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