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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 1 December 2017, Vol.168, pp.904-907
    Description: This paper is a critical response to Gomiero’s (2017, JCLEPRO) analysis of the links between degrowth and agriculture. It is argued that Gomiero’s contribution is timely and important, and he makes a number of important points, especially regarding the naivety of some degrowth proposals that amount to romanticising organic agriculture. However, Gomiero’s criticism of GM crops, which he contrasts with organic agriculture, is partly outdated and partly misguided. This reply thus presents a different interpretation of the potential of modern green biotechnology, including its possible compatibility with organic agriculture. •Agriculture is a blind spot in degrowth debate, as Gomiero rightly points out.•Gomiero’s analysis of organic vs. biotech-based agriculture is biased against GMOs.•CRISPR/Cas genome editing relativises many anti-GM arguments.•GMOs are not necessarily incompatible with degrowth-compatible organic agriculture.
    Keywords: Agriculture ; Crispr/Cas Genome Editing ; Degrowth ; Food Production ; Genetic Engineering
    ISSN: 0959-6526
    E-ISSN: 18791786
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, January 2017, Vol.131, pp.557-560
    Description: This paper is a critical appraisal of Schläpfer's (2016) proposal of a Democratic Valuation (DV) methodology to value public goods. While we appreciate attempts to address the shortcomings of conventional stated preference techniques, we have some reservations regarding DV. Our paper critically reviews the following characteristics of the proposed methodology: i) referendum format as decision-making mechanism, ii) single-dimensionality in the description of the policy issue to be valued, and iii) preference formation through provision of detailed information. Finally, we ‘calibrate’ Democratic Valuation against another alternative to conventional stated preference approaches, namely Deliberative Monetary Valuation (DMV). We argue that DMV addresses many of Schläpfer's concerns regarding stated preference techniques and at the same time avoids some of the problems generated by DV.
    Keywords: Stated Preferences ; Deliberative Monetary Valuation ; Majority Voting ; Public Goods
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 18736106
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, January 2018, Vol.143, pp.97-104
    Description: Economic valuation is often deemed an important source of information for land-use decisions. Stated preference (SP) methods are a particularly potent class of economic valuation methods, but they are also particularly controversial. In response to accumulating criticism of SP, deliberative monetary valuation (DMV) has been proposed as an alternative approach and has gained considerable attention in recent years. However, being a combination of elements from two theories – neoclassical welfare economics and theory of deliberative democracy – it lacks a convincing, consistent theoretical foundation. In our paper, we propose some clarifying adjustments regarding rationality assumptions and aggregation issues by drawing upon the work of Amartya Sen. We find that many of his ideas lead to a harmonisation of DMV's theoretical foundations, e.g. meta-rankings of preferences, impartial spectator and the plurality of impartial reasons.
    Keywords: Deliberative Monetary Valuation ; Amartya Sen ; Rationality ; Reasonableness ; Aggregation
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 18736106
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, May 2015, Vol.113, pp.1-14
    Description: Biodiversity is a highly complex and abstract ecological concept. Even though it is not one physical entity, it influences human well-being in multiple ways, mostly indirectly. While considerable research effort has been spent on the economic valuation of biodiversity, it remains to be a particularly challenging ‘valuation object’. Valuation practitioners therefore have to use proxies for biodiversity, many of which are very simple (single species, habitats). This paper presents a comprehensive and critical review of biodiversity valuation studies with special emphasis on biodiversity valuation in order to depict the state-of-the-art in this research field. It develops evaluation criteria so as to identify best-practice applications and shows that the field of biodiversity valuation studies is rather heterogeneous regarding both valuation objects and valuation methods. On the basis of our evaluation criteria and best-practice studies we suggest that to account for the complexity and abstractness of biodiversity, multi-attribute approaches with encompassing information provision should be used that emphasise the roles biodiversity plays for human well-being. •Many proxies used in economic valuation fail to grasp the diversity aspect of biodiversity.•Most studies use single-attribute proxies, which do not reflect the multi-dimensional complexity of biodiversity.•Multi-attribute proxies are better suited to account for biodiversity, but they are at the minority.•The emphasis on biodiversity roles with respect to human well-being should be imperative.•Provision of encompassing information, e.g., via deliberative approaches, is crucial.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Economic Valuation ; Literature Review ; Biodiversity Proxies ; Multi-Attribute Valuation
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 18736106
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 20 September 2018, Vol.196, pp.1158-1168
    Description: Critiques of modernity often align with critiques of the existing institutions of liberal democracy. We argue that the degrowth movement can learn from the experience of past critiques of modernity by avoiding their major mistake – that is, (inadvertently) conflating a critique of modernity with a rejection of liberal democratic institutions. Hence, we suggest to frame degrowth as the promotion of new vocabularies within a deliberative account of democracy. Specifically, we proceed in three steps: first, we briefly review some essential critiques of modernity and their stance towards liberal democracy. Second, we illustrate how some of the argumentative patterns within the degrowth literature may inadvertently endanger core values of liberal democracy. Third, we introduce our perspective on a liberal degrowth that aims to fulfil the “unfinished project of modernity”.
    Keywords: Umweltschutz ; Wirtschaftswachstum ; Engineering;
    ISSN: 0959-6526
    E-ISSN: 18791786
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Ecological economics : the transdisciplinary journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics, 2015, pp. 1-14
    ISSN: 09218009
    Source: Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, November 2017, Vol.141, pp.136-143
    Description: In contrast to conventional approaches the conceptualisation of sustainability as fair bequest makes it possible to consider a finite time horizon. Valuation is necessary to determine whether the bequest package that is passed on from one generation to the next is fair. Acknowledging the merits as well as the limitations of economic price theory, this paper differentiates between three classes of valuables: the essential, the useful and the unique. It is argued that a fair bequest package should contain items from each of the classes. Because the three classes are incommensurable, fairness of the bequest cannot be expressed by a single figure like a non-declining total value of the package. We then discuss which methods are appropriate for describing a bequest package with respect to its fairness.
    Keywords: Sustainability ; Weak and Strong Sustainability ; Valuation ; Essentials ; Non-Substitutability ; Uniqueness
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 18736106
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Ecosystem Services, April 2017, Vol.24, pp.50-57
    Description: •Economic value of biodiversity results from uncertainty and spatial interactions.•Insurance, option and spill-over value are attributable to biodiversity.•Biodiversity poses specific methodological challenges for economic valuation.•The methodological challenges help identify suitable valuation methods. Economic valuation mostly focuses on specific ecosystems, species or the services they provide. The diversity within ecosystems is viewed as a valuation object less frequently. In this paper, it is argued that the economic value of biodiversity highlights the relevance of the temporal and spatial dimensions in ecosystem service provision. A framework is presented in which the economic value of biodiversity is the result of uncertainty about the future, regarding both supply of and demand for ecosystem services, and of spatial interactions between ecosystems. Three sources of biodiversity’s economic value are distinguished in this context: insurance value, option value and spill-over value. Furthermore, the paper introduces biodiversity-specific methodological challenges (importance of non-market ecosystem goods; uncertainty and subjectivity; complexity and abstractness) which can be used to identify suitable methods for the economic valuation of biodiversity.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Ecosystem Services ; Economic Valuation ; Insurance Value ; Option Value ; Stated Preference Methods
    ISSN: 2212-0416
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Geoforum, November 2018, Vol.96, pp.172-180
    Description: CRISPR/Cas genome editing has the potential to revolutionise agricultural biotechnology and breeding. Also, it can contribute to advancing modern agriculture in multiple respects and lead to shifts in market structure. However, genetic engineering is a highly contested and controversial societal issue. Thus, CRISPR/Cas poses new questions regarding preferences of consumers and producers, food ethics and governance. Precision, easiness-to-use and low costs of CRISPR/Cas make it a viable alternative to conventional breeding. Yet, nature-identical GMOs blur the boundary between nature and technology and result in non-traceability of modifications, which calls for a rethinking of regulatory approaches. Finally, the speed with which the technology advances contrasts with the pace of related societal debates and regulatory processes.
    Keywords: Agricultural Policy ; Bioethics ; Biotechnology ; Food Production ; Genome Editing ; Governance
    ISSN: 0016-7185
    E-ISSN: 18729398
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Environmental and Resource Economics, 2018, Vol.71(1), pp.205-215
    Description: While recent experimental frameworks for national ecosystem service accounting have shown substantial progress, in our view some crucial methodological issues remain that deserve further consideration before setting final standards. In response to the landmark work of Obst et al. (Environ Resour Econ 64:1–23, 2016. doi: 10.1007/s10640-015-9921-1 ), we provide arguments with regard to the suitability of particular valuation approaches. Generally, we agree that respective valuation methods need to produce values that are consistent with national accounting standards such as representing exchange values. However, we disagree with their conclusions regarding specific valuation techniques. Firstly, the circumstance that methods used for estimating shadow prices can also be used to derive consumer surplus does not justify the general exclusion of all shadow pricing methods for valuation of ecosystem services for national accounts, especially for public ecosystem services. Secondly, that preference-based methods can also be used to assess welfare changes does not imply that cost-based methods are generally better suited for ecosystem accounting. To the contrary, we see an essential need for preference information in accounting contexts. Thirdly, that accounting standards use a written-down replacement cost approach, does not mean ecosystem accounting requires to employ a replacement cost approach. To the contrary, we argue that assessing ecosystem degradation through restoration costs would be in line with writing down depreciation, but we also point to its limits.
    Keywords: Accounting standards ; Ecosystem services ; Economic valuation ; Natural capital
    ISSN: 0924-6460
    E-ISSN: 1573-1502
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