The Value of Biodiversity

Partha Dasgupta, Ann Kinzig, Charles Perrings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Any assessment of the value of biodiversity should begin with an account of why one needs to value it and the reasons market values would not be expected to suffice for the purpose. This article discusses this in the context of the ecosystem services that biodiversity supports, along with the market and government failures that encourage resource users to ignore many of the effects of biodiversity change. It then considers how the value people explicitly or implicitly attach to biodiversity differs with income, culture, institutions, and the structure of the economy. This article shows how values can be translated into prescriptions for economic policy, and then reviews the special problems that arise in valuing biodiversity change, together with the techniques that are available for coping with those problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780123847195
ISBN (Print)9780123847201
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Accounting prices
  • Bifurcation points
  • Complementarity
  • Investment projects
  • Irreversibility
  • Resilience
  • Social cost-benefit analysis
  • Social discount rates
  • Stability
  • Substitutability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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