IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Valuing Biodiversity from an Economic Perspective: AUnified Economic, Ecological and Genetic Approach

  • William Brock


    (University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics, USA)

  • Anastasios Xepapadeas


    (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)

We develop a conceptual framework for valuing biodiversity from an economic perspective. We consider biodiversity important because of a number of characteristics or services that it provides or enhances. We argue for a dynamic economic welfare measure of biodiversity that complements the existing literature on benefit-cost approaches and genetic distance/phylogenic tree approaches, which to date have been more static. Using a unified model of optimal economic management of an ecosystem under ecological and genetic constraints, we identify gains realized by management policies leading to a more diverse system, using the Bellman state valuation function of the problem. We show that a more diverse system could attain a higher value even though the genetic distance of the species in the more diverse system could be almost zero. We relate this endogenous measure of the biodiversity value to ecologically/biologically oriented biodiversity metrics (species richness, Shannon or Simpson indices).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Crete, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0301.

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crt:wpaper:0301
Contact details of provider: Postal: Gallos - Rethymno 74100
Phone: +30 831 77405
Fax: +30 831 77406
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Simpson, R David & Sedjo, Roger A & Reid, John W, 1996. "Valuing Biodiversity for Use in Pharmaceutical Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 163-85, February.
  2. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:1:p:157-83 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Chuan-Zhong Li & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren & Martin Weitzman, 2001. "Harvesting versus Biodiversity: An Occam's Razor Version," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(4), pages 355-366, April.
  4. Heal, G., 1999. "Biodiversity as a Commodity," Papers 99-7, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  5. Stephen Polasky & Andrew Solow & James Broadus, 1993. "Searching For Uncertain Benefits and the Conservation Of Biological Diversity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 208, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Hurley, Terrance M. & Secchi, Silvia & Babcock, Bruce A. & Hellmich, Richard L., 2002. "Managing the Risk of European Corn Borer Resistance to Bt Corn," Staff General Research Papers 10294, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:19-39 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Bernhard, Pierre, 2002. "Survey Of Linear Quadratic Robust Control," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 19-39, February.
  9. Brock, William & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2002. "Optimal Ecosystem Management when Species Compete for Limiting Resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 189-220, September.
  10. Solow Andrew & Polasky Stephen & Broadus James, 1993. "On the Measurement of Biological Diversity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 60-68, January.
  11. Weitzman, Martin L., 2000. "Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy," Scholarly Articles 3693703, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
  13. Nehring,K. und C.Puppe, 1999. "A Theory of Diversity," Discussion Paper Serie A 605, University of Bonn, Germany.
  14. Montgomery, Claire A. & Pollak, Robert A. & Freemark, Kathryn & White, Denis, 1999. "Pricing Biodiversity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-19, July.
  15. Terrance M. Hurley & Silvia Secchi & Bruce A. Babcock, 1999. "Managing the Risk of European Corn Borer Resistance to Transgenic Corn: An Assessment of Refuge Recommendations," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 99-sr88, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  16. Gardner M. Brown & Jason F. Shogren, 1998. "Economics of the Endangered Species Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 3-20, Summer.
  17. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Conflicts and Choices in Biodiversity Preservation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 21-34, Summer.
  18. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
  19. Weitzman, M.L., 1991. "On Diversity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1553, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Polasky Stephen & Solow Andrew R., 1995. "On the Value of a Collection of Species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 298-303, November.
  21. Amy Craft & R. Simpson, 2001. "The Value of Biodiversity in Pharmaceutical Research with Differentiated Products," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crt:wpaper:0301. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kostis Pigounakis)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.