Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Working Paper Series, Department Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

No 2013:7:
Species Imperilment on the Global Scale: Empirical evidences of economic causes

Ing-Marie Gren (), Monica Campos, Lena Gustafsson and Katarina Elofsson

Abstract: Economic factors contribute to biodiversity directly through activities such as pollution and land use, and indirectly by affecting preferences and institutional capabilities of implementing mitigation measures. This paper tests the explanatory power of these different mechanisms on threats to biodiversity on a global scale. Econometric analyses are performed with invasive species, land use, climate, economic prosperity, corruption, and spatial autocorrelation as explanatory variables. This is carried out for all taxonomic groups and separately for mammals, birds, plants, amphibians, and reptiles. Different models are tested and robust results appear for detrimental effects of invasive species, pollution, and high average temperature. Results also indicate that economic prosperity and institutional capacity do not act as curbing factors in isolation, but instead together which points out the need for sufficient levels of both prosperity and institutional capability in order to preserve biodiversity. These impacts are significant for all taxonomic groups but of different magnitude. Plants show the highest relative response to several factors and mammals the lowest.

Keywords: threatened species; climate; land use; non-indigenous species; spatial autocorrelation; economic development; institutions; econometrics; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: Q56; Q57; (follow links to similar papers)

30 pages, June 19, 2013

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