Efficient Nonanthropocentric Nature Protection

36 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2004

See all articles by Rudiger Pethig

Rudiger Pethig

University of Siegen - School of Economic Disciplines; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Thomas Eichner

University of Siegen - School of Economic Disciplines

Date Written: August 2004

Abstract

This paper analyzes nature protection by a social planner under different "utilitarian" social welfare functions. For that purpose we construct an integrated model of the economy and the ecosystem with explicit consideration of nonhuman species and with competition between human and nonhuman species for land and prey biomass. We characterize and compare the efficient allocations when social welfare is anthropocentric (only consumers have positive welfare weights), and when social welfare is nonanthropocentric (all species have positive welfare weights). Not surprisingly, biocentric social welfare calls for suspending all economic activities. It is more important, however, that both anthropocentrism and nonanthropocentrism make the case for nature protection through different channels. Our analysis suggests that one may dispense with the concept of nonanthropocentric social welfare provided that in the anthropocentric framework the consumers' intrinsic valuation of nature is properly accounted for.

Keywords: anthropocentrism, biocentrism, welfare, nature protection

JEL Classification: D60, Q20

Suggested Citation

Pethig, Rudiger and Eichner, Thomas, Efficient Nonanthropocentric Nature Protection (August 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1262. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=597782

Rudiger Pethig (Contact Author)

University of Siegen - School of Economic Disciplines ( email )

Hoelderlinstrasse 3
57068 Siegen
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Thomas Eichner

University of Siegen - School of Economic Disciplines ( email )

Hoelderlinstrasse 3
57068 Siegen
Germany

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