Ecological-Economic Analysis and Valuation of Biodiversity

36 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2001

See all articles by Paulo A. L. D. Nunes

Paulo A. L. D. Nunes

University of Padua - Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro Forestali (TeSAF)

Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics; Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

This paper introduces and surveys ecological-economic analysis and valuation of biodiversity. Furthermore, the notion and application of economic, monetary valuation of biodiversity is critically evaluated. A classification of biodiversity values is offered, based on a system of logical relationships among biodiversity, ecosystems, species and human welfare. Suggestions are made about which economic valuation methods can address which type of biodiversity value. The resulting framework is the starting point for a survey and evaluation of empirical studies at each of the four levels of diversity. The resulting monetary value estimates seem to give unequivocal support to the belief that biodiversity has a significant, positive social value. The contingent valuation method is by far the most used method. An important reason is that the other valuation methods are unable to identify and measure passive or nonuse values of biodiversity. Nevertheless, most studies lack a uniform, integrated perspective on biodiversity. Therefore, available economic valuation estimates should generally be regarded as providing a partial perspective on, and at best lower bounds, to the unknown value of biodiversity changes.

Keywords: Biodiversity, biotic richness, use economic value, nonuse economic value, monetary values, contingent valuation, ecosystem health, integrated modeling

JEL Classification: Q20

Suggested Citation

Dias Nunes, Paulo Augusto and van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. and Nijkamp, Peter, Ecological-Economic Analysis and Valuation of Biodiversity (September 2001). FEEM Working Paper No. 74.2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=286832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.286832

Paulo Augusto Dias Nunes (Contact Author)

University of Padua - Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro Forestali (TeSAF) ( email )

Legnaro, Padova 35020
Italy

Jeroen C.J.M. Van den Bergh

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Faculty of Economics and Econometrics
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Peter Nijkamp

VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 4446091 (Phone)
+31 20 4445611 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

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