Who cares about biodiversity? Optimal conservation and transboundary biodiversity biodiversity externalities, Environmental and Resource Economics 52(4): 585-608

Who cares about biodiversity? Optimal conservation and transboundary biodiversity biodiversity externalities, Environmental and Resource Economics 52(4): 585-608 (SCOPUS, EconLit, ISI Listed, Impact Factor: 1.426 and 5-year: 2.105). In common with C. Perrings (2012).

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2010 target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss was achieved by very few countries.  Why?  We use the theory of conservation implicit in the Hotelling model of non-renewable resource pricing to analyze the problem, distinguishing between the benefits to local and global communities.  We estimate models for three taxonomic groups, and find that while local communities value conservation, this effect is dominated by the negative impact of income growth in poor countries.  International financial contributions to conservation in poor countries are found to be statistically insignificant.  We conclude that people care about the biodiversity within their national borders, but only when development priorities permit, and only when it becomes scarce enough that its value grows more rapidly than the return on alternative assets. There is little evidence that people yet care sufficiently about biodiversity in the places where it is most threatened to affect conservation outcomes there.

JEL Classification:  Q21

DOI 10.1007/s10640-012-9544-8