Ecological and economic models for biodiversity conservation

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, the latest volume of Ecological Economics has a paper by Drechsler et al. entitled, ‘Differences and similarities between ecological and economic models for biodiversity conservation’. They compare 60 ecological and economic models and suggest:

“Since models are a common tool of research in economics and ecology, it is often implicitly assumed that they can easily be combined. By making the differences between economic and ecological models explicit we hope to have helped to avoid miscommunication that may arise if economists and ecologists talk about “models” and believe they mean the same but in fact think of something different. The question that arises from the analysis of this paper is, of course: What are the reasons for the differences between economic and ecological models?”

The authors suggest five possible routes into the examination of this question:

  1. Different disciplinary traditions
  2. Differences in the systems analysed
  3. Differences in the perception of the system analysed
  4. Varying personal preferences of researchers
  5. Models serve different purposes

Drechsler et al. conclude:

“The general lesson from this is that economists who start thinking about developing ecological–economic models have to be prepared that they might be involved in complex modelling not typical and possibly less respected in economics. On the other hand, ecologists starting collaborations with modellers from economics have to be aware that in economics analytical tractability is much higher valued and simple models are more dominant than in ecology.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.