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Valuing Ecosystem Services

Author

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  • Heal, G.

Abstract

The value of the services provided top human societies by natural ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles has recently been the topic of discussion and research. Here I review some of the basic economic principles necessary for understanding some of the questions that arise in this area. I argue that even with the best possible data and scientific understanding, the sense in which economists can value nature's services is limited. I also argue that valuing these services is much less important than providing incentives for their conservation, and that valuation and providing incentives for conservation are quite different. Valuation is neither necessary nor sufficient for conservation, whereas providing the right incentives is.

Suggested Citation

  • Heal, G., 1999. "Valuing Ecosystem Services," Papers 98-12, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:colubu:98-12
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    Cited by:

    1. Finnoff, David & Tschirhart, John, 2008. "Linking dynamic economic and ecological general equilibrium models," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 91-114, May.
    2. Baker, Rick & Ruting, Brad, 2014. "Environmental Policy Analysis: A Guide to Non‑Market Valuation," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Macquarie, Australia 165810, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. R. Simpson, 2007. "David Pearce and the economic valuation of biodiversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 91-109, May.
    4. Ghermandi, Andrea & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. & Brander, Luke M. & de Groot, Henri L.F. & Nunes, Paulo A.L.D., 2008. "The Economic Value of Wetland Conservation and Creation: A Meta-Analysis," Sustainability Indicators and Environmental Valuation Working Papers 44229, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    5. Ali DOUAI, 2007. "Wealth, Well-being and Value(s): A Proposition of Structuring Concepts for a (real) Transdisciplinary Dialogue within Ecological Economics," Cahiers du GREThA 2007-18, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    6. Stenger, Anne & Harou, Patrice & Navrud, Ståle, 2009. "Valuing environmental goods and services derived from the forests," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 1-14, January.
    7. Engelbrecht, Hans-Jürgen, 2009. "Natural capital, subjective well-being, and the new welfare economics of sustainability: Some evidence from cross-country regressions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 380-388, December.
    8. Luke Brander & Andrea Ghermandi & Onno Kuik & Anil Markandya & Paulo A.L.D. Nunes & Marije Schaafsma & Alfred Wagtendonk, 2010. "Scaling up Ecosystem Services Values: Methodology, Applicability and a Case Study," Working Papers 2010.41, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Geoffrey Heal, 2008. "Climate Economics: A Meta-Review and Some Suggestions," NBER Working Papers 13927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bhatta, Arun & Bigsby, Hugh R. & Cullen, Ross, 2011. "Alternative to Comprehensive Ecosystem Services Markets: The Contribution of Forest-Related Programs in New Zealand," 2011 Conference, August 25-26, 2011, Nelson, New Zealand 115350, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    11. Harvey, David R. & Jambor, Attila, 2011. "What role for public goods in the future of CAP?," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108957, Agricultural Economics Society.
    12. Sandra Notaro & Alessandro Paletto, 2008. "Natural disturbances and natural hazards in mountain forests: a framework for the economic valuation," Department of Economics Working Papers 0808, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    13. Mesa-Jurado, Maria A. & Piston, Juan Maximo & Giannoccaro, Giacomo & Berbel, Julio, 2008. "Irrigation Water Value Scenarios for 2015: Application to Guadalquivir River," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6450, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Geoffrey Heal & Howard Kunreuther, 2010. "Environment and Energy: Catastrophic Liabilities from Nuclear Power Plants," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Managing Federal Financial Risk, pages 235-257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SOCIAL WELFARE ; ENVIRONMENT ; NATURAL RESOURCES;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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