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The international regulation of extinction: An economic analysis of the forces causing and controlling the extinction of species.

Swanson, Timothy Michael (1993) The international regulation of extinction: An economic analysis of the forces causing and controlling the extinction of species. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis explains the decline of biological diversity as the result of a particular form of dynamic externality inherent within the global development process. Agricultural technology and learning have become embedded within particular species, by reason of species-specific investments, and the diffusion of these technologies has implied the adoption of these particular species as well. The decline of biological diversity has been the consequence of this development process, which carries with it the by-product of a homogenised biosphere. This theory has important implications for the regulation of diverse biological resources, and especially their extinction. It implies that the fundamental force driving extinctions is relative underinvestment in these non-specialised resources and in their ancillary resources: base resources (land) and management requirements. When particular species do not attract investment, they are subject to disinvestment by reason of "mining" (for investment of rents elsewhere), "land use conversions" (for investment of base resources elsewhere), or "overexploitation" (for investment of management resources elsewhere). Decisions concerning the conversion of diverse resources made by individual states are necessarily suboptimal. The mere existence of a range of diversity in biological resources confers global benefits, specifically insurance and informational services. No single state will take these global benefits into consideration when making its disinvestment decisions. The internalisation of these benefits, through international environmental agreements to that effect, is the means by which the decline of biological diversity might be controlled. The international regulation of extinction may take three distinct forms: 1) the creation of dynamically consistent transfer systems to compensate for reduced rates of conversion of diverse resources ("international franchise agreements"); 2) the creation of rent enhancement systems to render nonconversion a more profitable alternative ("international wildlife trade regimes"); or, 3) the creation of appropriation mechanisms that render the nonappriable appropriable ("international intellectual property right regimes").

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, Environmental, Environmental Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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