In recent years, economists seeking a broader measure of the value of environmental amenities have invoked a new concept—“existence value”—purporting to define the value people attach to simply knowing that certain natural resources exist. However, despite its scientific veneer, this problematic concept is loaded with theoretical and value implications that make it more at home in theology than in economics.


Other Independent Review articles by Robert H. Nelson
    Spring 2013   Gus diZerega Responds to Robert Nelson and Nelson Replies
    Summer 2012   Economics and Environmentalism
    Spring 2010   Ecological Science as a Creation Story
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