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The Economics of Transnational Commons$
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Partha Dasgupta, Karl-Göran Mäler, and Alessandro Vercelli

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198292203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292203.001.0001

The Value of Biodiversity

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 The Value of Biodiversity
Source:
The Economics of Transnational Commons
Author(s):

Paul R. Ehrlich

Anne H. Ehrlich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198292203.003.0005

This chapter states that one of the most vexing problems facing ecologists and economists today is how to measure the value of environmental goods whose destruction generates vast externalities. Biodiversity, which is the variety of genetically distinct populations and species of plants, animals, and micro-organisms with which we share the earth, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts, is a prime example of one of those goods. The chapter also discusses the ethical values of biodiversity, as they are often based on religious or quasi-religious feelings. The aesthetic values, direct economic values, and indirect economic values of biodiversity are also discussed in the chapter, as is the extinction epidemic and the economic value of biodiversity.

Keywords:   biodiversity, ethical values, aesthetic values, economic values, indirect values, extinction epidemic

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