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Preferences, Information and Biodiversity Preservation

Author

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  • Nick Hanley
  • Clive L Spash

Abstract

Thi~ paper con~iders the nature of preferences for the preservation of biodiversity, and the extent to which individuab are well-informed about biodiversity. We present evidence that the elicitation of monetary bids to pay for biodiversity preservation, as required for cost-benefit analysis, fails as a measure of welfare changes due to the prevalence of preferences which neoclassical economics defines as lexicographic. That is, a ~ignificant proportion of individuals refuse to make trade-offs which require the substitution of biodiver~ity for other goods. In addition, we show that understanding of the biodiver~ity concept is extremely limited, raising concerns over a reliance on stated preferences, as revealed in contingent valuation studies, for decision-making on this issue. Results from two samples (students and the general public) are described.
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Suggested Citation

  • Nick Hanley & Clive L Spash, 1993. "Preferences, Information and Biodiversity Preservation," Working Papers Series 93/12, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stlewp:93/12
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Solow Andrew & Polasky Stephen & Broadus James, 1993. "On the Measurement of Biological Diversity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 60-68, January.
    2. Nick Hanley & Alistair Munro, "undated". "The Effects of Information in Contingent Markets for Enviromental Goods," Working Papers Series e94/5, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    3. Knetsch, Jack L., 1990. "Environmental policy implications of disparities between willingness to pay and compensation demanded measures of values," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 227-237, May.
    4. Willig, Robert D, 1976. "Consumer's Surplus without Apology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 589-597, September.
    5. Thomas H. Stevens & Jaime Echeverria & Ronald J. Glass & Tim Hager & Thomas A. More, 1991. "Measuring the Existence Value of Wildlife: What Do CVM Estimates Really Show?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 390-400.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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