School of Economics

2009 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 09/08
July 2009

Prioritising Biosecurity Investment between Protecting Agricultural and Environmental Systems.

David C. Cook, Rob W. Fraser, Jeffrey K. Waage and Matthew B. Thomas

School of Economics
University of Kent


This paper is motivated by the observation that there is a difference between the time paths of damage valuations for invasions which affect agricultural compared with environmental systems. In particular, unlike agricultural systems, studies have shown that the social valuation of an environmental system is likely to be exponentially positively related to the extent of its deterioration. This paper explores the implications of this difference in determining biosecurity investment priorities. It is concluded that because of this difference an environmental system will often not be prioritised for such protection over an agricultural system even though its ultimate social value exceeds that of the agricultural system.

JEL Classification: Q51, Q57, Q58

Keywords: Biosecurity, invasive species.

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