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What are shared and social values of ecosystems?

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Author(s)

  • Liz O'Brien
  • Neal Hockley
  • Neil Ravenscroft
  • Katherine N. Irvine
  • Mark S. Reed
  • Michael Christie
  • Emily Brady
  • Rosalind Bryce
  • Andrew Church
  • Nigel Cooper
  • Althea Davies
  • Anna Evely
  • Mark Everard
  • Robert Fish
  • Janet A. Fisher
  • Niels Jobstvogt
  • Claire Molloy
  • Johanne Orchard-Webb
  • Susan Ranger
  • Mandy Ryan
  • Verity Watson
  • Susan Williams

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalEcological Economics
DateAccepted/In press - 22 Jan 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Feb 2015
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2015
Volume111
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)86-99
Early online date6/02/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Social valuation of ecosystem services and public policy alternatives is one of the greatest challenges facing ecological economists today. Frameworks for valuing nature increasingly include shared/social values as a distinct category of values. However, the nature of shared/social values, as well as their relationship to other values, has not yet been clearly established and empirical evidence about the importance of shared/social values for valuation of ecosystem services is lacking. To help address these theoretical and empirical limitations, this paper outlines a framework of shared/social values across five dimensions: value concept, provider, intention, scale, and elicitation process. Along these dimensions we identify seven main, non-mutually exclusive types of shared values: transcendental, cultural/societal, communal, group, deliberated and other-regarding values, and value to society. Using a case study of a recent controversial policy on forest ownership in England, we conceptualise the dynamic interplay between shared/social and individual values. The way in which social value is assessed in neoclassical economics is discussed and critiqued, followed by consideration of the relation between shared/social values and Total Economic Value, and a review of deliberative and non-monetary methods for assessing shared/social values. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of shared/social values for decision-making.

    Research areas

  • Decision-making, Deliberation, Deliberative monetary valuation, Ecosystem services, Environmental valuation, Interpretive methods, Non-monetary valuation, Psychological methods, Shared values, Social values, Total economic value

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