Economic valuation of ecosystem services in Mexico: Current status and trends

Last modified: 
December 14, 2019 - 9:57am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2016
Date published: 10/2016
Authors: Gustavo Perez-Verdin, Enrique Sanjurjo-Rivera, Leopoldo Galicia, Jose Hernandez-Diaz, Victor Hernandez-Trejo, Marco Marquez-Linares
Journal title: Ecosystem Services
Volume: 21
Pages: 6 - 19
ISSN: 22120416

Using various sources of information, we reviewed the literature about the economic valuation of ecosystem services in Mexico. The objectives were to analyze the diversity and consistency of value estimations, identify research gaps, and suggest directions for future research. We found 43 studies that used non-market valuation methods to estimate the economic benefits of 24 types of ecosystem services. The most evaluated service was recreation, followed by water and food resources. Contingent valuation was the most cited method, followed by travel cost and choice experiment methods. While the number of studies is encouraging, many important ecosystem services still remain unnoticed and are not accounting towards the total economic value (e.g. pollination, medicine, bioenergy, etc.). In addition, the majority of studies revealed a lack of validity tests, which challenges the reliability of results. Hypothetical bias and the embedding effect are serious problems that must be addressed in future stated preference studies. Considering the issues reviewed here, we believe that the scientific community in Mexico should keep doing more research on economic valuation. This information can help to transit from hypothetical to real markets and to highlight the critical role of ecosystem services in society.

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