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A Macroeconomic Model of Biodiversity Protection

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DOI: 10.4236/tel.2013.35A1006    6,522 Downloads   8,382 Views   Citations
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Many biodiversity researchers have responded to the financial constraints faced by policy makers to develop models based upon the “Noah’s Ark” metaphor, implying that society can save only a limited amount of biodiversity. Unfortunately, as Herman Daly (Land Economics, 1991) pointed out, such microeconomic rules can allow an ark to sink albeit in some optimal fashion. So, I step back to look at the macroeconomic question, how big should the ark be? I start with Norgaard’s (Ecological Economics, 2010) framework, which is based upon the concept of a production possibility frontier combined with a sustainability criterion. I develop a model from that starting point by shifting to an isoquant framework while maintaining the strong sustainability criterion. I demonstrate how this model allows for identifying and addressing the key biodiversity protection policy criteria at the macroeconomic level. One key conclusion from this modeling is that Daly’s analysis remains remarkably prescient.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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D. Martin, "A Macroeconomic Model of Biodiversity Protection," Theoretical Economics Letters, Vol. 3 No. 5A, 2013, pp. 39-44. doi: 10.4236/tel.2013.35A1006.


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