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The Private and Public Insurance Value of Conservative Biodiversity Management

Author

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  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle)

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    (Centre for Sustainability, University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

The ecological literature suggests that biodiversity reduces the variance of ecosystem services. Thus, conservative biodiversity management has an insurance value to risk-averse users of ecosystem services. We analyze a conceptual ecological-economic model in which such management measures generate a private benefit and, via ecosystem processes at higher hierarchical levels, a positive externality on other ecosystem processes at higher hierarchical levels, a positive externality on other ecosystem users. We find that ecosystem management and environmental policy depend on the extent of uncertainty and risk-aversion as follows: (i) Individual effort to improve ecosystem quality unambiguously increases. The free-rider problem may decrease or increase, depending on the characteristics of the ecosytsem and its management; in particular, (ii) the size of the externality may decrease or increase, depending on how individual and aggregate management effort influence biodiversity; and (iii) the welfare loss due to free-riding may decrease or increase, depending on how biodiversity influences ecosystem service provision.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2006. "The Private and Public Insurance Value of Conservative Biodiversity Management," Working Paper Series in Economics 33, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Salvatore Di Falco & Charles Perrings, 2003. "Crop Genetic Diversity, Productivity and Stability of Agroecosystems. A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 207-216, May.
    2. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist, 2003. "On Environmental Taxation under Uncertain Environmental Damage," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(2), pages 183-196, February.
    4. Aronsson, T. & Blomquist, S., 1999. "On Environmental Taxation Under Uncertainty," Papers 1999:14, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    5. Di Falco, Salvatore & Perrings, Charles, 2005. "Crop biodiversity, risk management and the implications of agricultural assistance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 459-466, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Markus Groth, 2008. "Perspektiven der Nutzung von Methanhydraten als Energieträger – Eine Bestandsaufnahme," Working Paper Series in Economics 76, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    2. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2008. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 397-406, April.
    3. Christian Growitsch & Heike Wetzel, 2009. "Testing for Economies of Scope in European Railways: An Efficiency Analysis," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 43(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin F., 2009. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2008-2020, May.
    5. repec:zbw:iwhdps:5-06 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
    7. Christian Growitsch & Heike Wetzel, 2006. "Economies of Scope in European Railways: An Efficiency Analysis," IWH Discussion Papers 5, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Markus Groth, 2008. "Private ex-ante transaction costs for repeated biodiversity conservation auctions: a case study," Working Paper Series in Economics 84, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    9. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Muller, Birgit, 2007. "Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 251-266, April.
    10. Markus Groth, 2008. "An empirical examination of repeated auctions for biodiversity conservation contracts," Working Paper Series in Economics 78, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    11. Heike Wetzel, 2008. "European Railway Deregulation: The Influence of Regulatory and Environmental Conditions on Efficiency," Working Paper Series in Economics 86, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

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    Keywords

    biodiversity; ecosystem services; ecosystem management; free-riding; insurance; public good; risk-aversion; uncertainty;
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