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Conflicts and Choices in Biodiversity Preservation

  • Andrew Metrick
  • Martin L. Weitzman

The purpose of this article is to examine the preservation of biodiversity as an economic problem. Using a very simple prototype model, we discuss how to include diversity in the objective function and how to develop a simple cost-benefit ranking criterion for ordering priorities. Then we analyze data on endangered species preservation decisions in the U S. to shed light on the conformity of theory with practice. A basic theme is that the core issue in biodiversity preservation today is the fuzziness of the objective function.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1836.

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Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1836
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  1. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1996. "Patterns of Behavior in Endangered Species Preservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
  2. Weitzman, M.L., 1991. "On Diversity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1553, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Weitzman, Martin L, 1993. "What to Preserve? An Application of Diversity Theory to Crane Conservation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 157-83, February.
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