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Institutions and preferences determine resilience of ecological-economic systems

  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 109.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:109
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

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  1. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C. S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Maler, Karl-Goran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 91-95, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
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