Consumer Preferences Determine Resilience of Ecological-Economic Systems
Stefan Baumgärtner, Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany
Sandra Derissen, Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany
Martin F Quaas, Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany
Sebastian Strunz, Department of Sustainability Sciences and Department of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany
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We perform a model analysis to study the origins of limited resilience in coupled ecological-economic systems. We demonstrate that under open access to ecosystems for profit-maximizing harvesting forms, the resilience properties of the system are essentially determined by consumer preferences for ecosystem services. In particular, we show that complementarity and relative importance of ecosystem services in consumption may significantly decrease the resilience of (almost) any given state of the system. We conclude that the role of consumer preferences and management institutions is not just to facilitate adaptation to, or transformation of, some natural dynamics of ecosystems. Rather, consumer preferences and management institutions are themselves important determinants of the fundamental dynamic characteristics of coupled ecological-economic systems, such as limited resilience.
consumption; ecological-economic systems; ecosystem services; natural resource management; preferences; resilience
Copyright © 2011 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.