What drives long-run biodiversity change? New insights from combining economics, paleoecology and environmental history

Hanley, N. , Tinch, D., Angelopoulos, K., Davies, A., Barbier, E. B. and Watson, F. (2009) What drives long-run biodiversity change? New insights from combining economics, paleoecology and environmental history. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 57(1), pp. 5-20. (doi:10.1016/j.jeem.2008.03.005)

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Abstract

This paper presents a new approach for understanding the effects of economic factors on biodiversity change over the long run. We illustrate this approach by studying the determinants of biodiversity change in upland Scotland from 1600 to 2000. The measure of biodiversity used is a proxy for plant species diversity, constructed using statistical analysis of palaeoecological (pollen) data. We assemble a new data set of historical land use and prices over 11 sites during this 400-year period; this data set also includes information on changes in agricultural technology, climate and land ownership. A panel model is then estimated that controls for both supply and demand shifts over time. A main result is that prices that act in our model as a proxy for livestock numbers do indeed impact on biodiversity, with higher prices leading to lower biodiversity.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We thank the Leverhulme Trust for funding the research on which this paper is based.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanley, Professor Nicholas and Angelopoulos, Dr Konstantinos
Authors: Hanley, N., Tinch, D., Angelopoulos, K., Davies, A., Barbier, E. B., and Watson, F.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
ISSN:0095-0696
ISSN (Online):1096-0449
Published Online:31 October 2008

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