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The Value of Biodiversity as an Insurance Device

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This paper presents a benchmark endogenous growth model including biodiversity preservation dynamics. Producing food requires land, and increasing the share of total land devoted to farming mechanically reduces the share of land devoted to biodiversity conservation. However, the safeguarding of a greater number of species is associated to better ecosystem services – pollination, flood control, pest control, etc., which in turn ensure a lower volatility of agricultural productivity. The optimal conversion/preservation rule is explicitly characterized, as well as the value of biological diversity, in terms of the welfare gain of biodiversity conservation. The Epstein-Zin-Weil specification of the utility function allows us to disentangle the effects of risk aversion and aversion to fluctuations. A two-player game extension of the model highlights the effect of volatility externalities and the Paretian sub-optimality of the decentralized choice.

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File URL: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/sites/default/files/_dt/2012/wp_2017_-_nr_09.pdf
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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1709.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1709
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/en

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  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 2000. "Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 237-263.
  2. Duffie, Darrel & Lions, Pierre-Louis, 1992. "PDE solutions of stochastic differential utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 577-606.
  3. Lybbert, Travis J. & McPeak, John, 2012. "Risk and intertemporal substitution: Livestock portfolios and off-take among Kenyan pastoralists," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 415-426.
  4. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
  5. Richard E. Howitt & Siwa Msangi & Arnaud Reynaud & Keith C. Knapp, 2005. "Estimating Intertemporal Preferences for Natural Resource Allocation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 969-983.
  6. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-969, July.
  7. Duffie, Darrell & Epstein, Larry G, 1992. "Stochastic Differential Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 353-394, March.
  8. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Muller, Birgit, 2007. "Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 251-266, April.
  9. Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Intergenerational Equity and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 195-207, June.
  10. Duffie, Darrell & Epstein, Larry G, 1992. "Asset Pricing with Stochastic Differential Utility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 411-436.
  11. Epaulard, Anne & Pommeret, Aude, 2003. "Optimally eating a stochastic cake: a recursive utility approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 129-139, May.
  12. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2008. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 397-406, April.
  13. Keith C. Knapp & Lars J. Olson, 1996. "Dynamic Resource Management: Intertemporal Substitution and Risk Aversion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1004-1014.
  14. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  15. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2010. "Managing increasing environmental risks through agrobiodiversity and agrienvironmental policies," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(5), pages 483-496, 09.
  16. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer & G. C. van Kooten & Douglas L. Young, 1992. "Incorporating Risk Aversion into Dynamic Programming Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(4), pages 870-878.
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