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Institutions and preferences determine resilience of ecological-economic systems

Author

Listed:
  • Martin F. Quaas

    () (Department of Economics, University of Kiel)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    () (Department of Sustainability sciences, University of Lüneburg)

  • Sandra Derissens

    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel)

  • Sebastian Strunz

    () (Department of Sustainability sciences, University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

We perform a model analysis to study the origins of limited resilience in ecological-economic systems. We demonstrate that the resilience properties of the ecosystem are essentially determined by the management institutions and consumers’ preferences for ecosystem services. In particular, we show that complementarity of ecosystem services in human well-being and open access of the ecosystem to profit-maximizing harvesting firms may lead to limited resilience of the ecosystem. We conclude that the role of human preferences and management institutions is not just to facilitate adaptation to, or transformation of, some natural dynamics of ecosystems. Rather, human preferences and management institutions are themselves important determinants of the fundamental dynamic characteristics of the ecological-economic system, such as limited resilience.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner & Sandra Derissens & Sebastian Strunz, 2008. "Institutions and preferences determine resilience of ecological-economic systems," Working Paper Series in Economics 109, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:109
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Levin, Simon A. & Barrett, Scott & Aniyar, Sara & Baumol, William & Bliss, Christopher & Bolin, Bert & Dasgupta, Partha & Ehrlich, Paul & Folke, Carl & Gren, Ing-Marie & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Annma, 1998. "Resilience in natural and socioeconomic systems," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 221-262, May.
    2. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
    3. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ecological-economic systems; ecosystem services; institutions; natural resource management; preferences; resilience;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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