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Natural and Environmental Amenities: A Review of Definitions, Measures and Issues

Y. Schaeffer and J.-C. Dissart

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 146, issue C, 475-496

Abstract: This study investigates the notions of natural and environmental amenities in the social science literature, the ways they are defined and measured, and related issues. We analyze 328 peer-reviewed articles published over a 40-year period (1974–2013). We observe an exponential growth in publications, with a small set of economics journals publishing most of the corpus. Despite this body of work, there are still no widely acknowledged definitions of these notions. Research objectives have changed from an initial focus on recovering the implicit prices of natural/environmental amenities, to a more recent and growing interest in evaluating their impacts on regional development and quality of life. Regarding measurement, most papers use unidimensional measures of natural attributes (esp. water bodies, land cover/use). This survey leads to a discussion of prospects for future research.

Keywords: Amenity; Environmental Indicators; Environmental Valuation; Regional Development; Quality of Life; Ecosystem Services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:475-496