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The Architecture and Measurement of an Ecosystem Services Index

  • Boyd, James


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Banzhaf, H. Spencer


    (Resources for the Future)

This paper describes the construction of an ecological services index (ESI). An ESI is meant to summarize and track over time the magnitude of beneficial services arising from the natural environment. A central task of this paper is to define rigorously ecosystem services so that services can be counted in an economically and ecologically defensible manner—a requirement if ecological contributions to welfare are to be incorporated into the national accounts. This paper advocates a particular economic structure and relates it to index theory and makes concrete recommendations for the measurement of such an index.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-22.

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Date of creation: 05 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-22
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  1. William A. Brock & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2003. "Valuing Biodiversity from an Economic Perspective: A Unified Economic, Ecological, and Genetic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1597-1614, December.
  2. Klaus Moeltner & Richard T. Woodward, 2007. "Meta-Functional Benefit Transfer for Wetland Valuation: Making the Most of Small Samples," Working Papers 07-012, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
  3. Spencer Banzhaf, H., 2005. "Green price indices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 262-280, March.
  4. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2005. "The Architecture and Measurement of an Ecosystem Services Index," Discussion Papers dp-05-22, Resources For the Future.
  5. 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.
  6. Heal, G. & Kristrom, B., 1998. "National Income and the Environment," Papers 98-01, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  7. Fare, R. & Grosskopf, S. & Hernandez-Sancho, F., 2004. "Environmental performance: an index number approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 343-352, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Kontogianni, Areti & Luck, Gary W. & Skourtos, Michalis, 2010. "Valuing ecosystem services on the basis of service-providing units: A potential approach to address the 'endpoint problem' and improve stated preference methods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1479-1487, May.
  10. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, Spencer, 2007. "What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 616-626, August.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521775267 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
  13. Weitzman, M.L., 1991. "On Diversity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1553, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Partha Dasgupta, 2009. "The Welfare Economic Theory of Green National Accounts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 3-38, January.
  15. Neary, J.P & Roberts, K.W.S, 1978. "The Theory of Household Behaviour under Rationing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 132, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  16. Boyd, James & Wainger, Lisa, 2003. "Measuring Ecosystem Service Benefits: The Use of Landscape Analysis to Evaluate Environmental Trades and Compensation," Discussion Papers dp-02-63, Resources For the Future.
  17. Loomis, John B. & Rosenberger, Randall S., 2006. "Reducing barriers in future benefit transfers: Needed improvements in primary study design and reporting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 343-350, December.
  18. Bockstael, Nancy E & McConnell, Kenneth E, 1983. "Welfare Measurement in the Household Production Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 806-14, September.
  19. Boyd, James, 2007. "Nonmarket benefits of nature: What should be counted in green GDP?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 716-723, March.
  20. Nancy E. Bockstael, 1996. "Modeling Economics and Ecology: The Importance of a Spatial Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1168-1180.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521772839 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Karl-Göran Mäler, 1991. "National accounts and environmental resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, March.
  23. Fisher, Brendan & Turner, R. Kerry & Morling, Paul, 2009. "Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 643-653, January.
  24. Karl-Göran Mäler & Sara Aniyar & Åsa Jansson, 2009. "Accounting for Ecosystems," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 39-51, January.
  25. V. Smith & Subhrendu Pattanayak, 2002. "Is Meta-Analysis a Noah's Ark for Non-Market Valuation?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 271-296, June.
  26. James Boyd & Lisa Wainger, 2002. "Landscape Indicators of Ecosystem Service Benefits," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1371-1378.
  27. Johnston, Robert J. & Russell, Marc, 2011. "An operational structure for clarity in ecosystem service values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2243-2249.
  28. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn & William Nordhaus, 2011. "Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1649-75, August.
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