Essays on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
This dissertation considers selected economic aspects of ecosystem services (ES) and biodiversity and derives recommendations for policy-making in different contexts. It is structured by the types of ecosystems considered and methodological approaches used. Part 1 of this dissertation comprises two papers that deal with the economic valuation of urban ES. The first paper uses the travel cost method and a random utility framework to value the benefits derived from recreation in urban parks. The second paper uses an alternative approach, i.e., the life satisfaction approach for valuing the contribution of urban green spaces to human well-being. Part 2 of this dissertation comprises two papers that consider marine ES and biodiversity. The first paper of part 2 analyzes the implications of environmental valuation for policy-making in the context of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The second paper of part 2 integrates the non-use value of biodiversity into a dynamic optimization model to analyze how this influences the optimal management of multi-species ecosystems.