Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 177–218 | Cite as

Economic Analysis for Ecosystem Service Assessments

  • Ian J. Bateman
  • Georgina M. Mace
  • Carlo Fezzi
  • Giles Atkinson
  • Kerry Turner
Open Access


The paper seeks to contribute to the expanding literature on ecosystem service assessment by considering its integration with economic analyses of such services. Focussing upon analyses for future orientated policy and decision making, we initially consider a single period during which ecological stocks are maintained at sustainable levels. The flow of ecosystems services and their contribution to welfare bearing goods is considered and methods for valuing resultant benefits are reviewed and illustrated via a case study of land use change. We then broaden our time horizon to discuss the treatment of future costs and benefits. Finally we relax our sustainability assumption and consider economic approaches to the incorporation of depleting ecological assets with a particular focus upon stocks which exhibit thresholds below which restoration is compromised.


Ecosystem services Economic valuation Stocks and flows Wellbeing Spatial and temporal issues Sustainability Irreversibility UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) 

JEL Classification

Q01 Q10 Q20 Q30 Q51 Q56 Q57 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian J. Bateman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Georgina M. Mace
    • 4
  • Carlo Fezzi
    • 1
  • Giles Atkinson
    • 5
  • Kerry Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East Anglia (UEA)NorwichUK
  2. 2.University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College LondonAscotUK
  5. 5.Department of Geography and Environment and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and EnvironmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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