A spatially accurate method for evaluating distributional effects of ecosystem services

The value of most ecosystem services invariably slips through national accounts. Even when these values are estimated, they are allocated without any particular spatial referencing. Little is known about the spatial and distributional effects arising from changes in ecosystem service provision. This paper estimates spatial equity in ecosystem services provision using a dedicated data disaggregation algorithm that allocates 'synthetic' socioeconomic attributes to households and with accurate geo-referencing. A GIS-based automated procedure is operationalized for three different ecosystem in Israel. A nonlinear function relates household location to each ecosystem: beaches, urban parks and national parks. Benefit measures are derived by modeling household consumer surplus as a function of socio-economic attributes and distance from the ecosystem. These aggregate measures are spatially disaggregated to households. Results show that restraining access to beaches causes a greater reduction in welfare than restraining access to a park. Progressively, high income households lose relatively more in welfare terms than low income households from such action. This outcome is reversed when distributional outcomes are measured in terms of housing price classes. Policy implications of these findings relate to implications for housing policies that attempt to use new development to generate social heterogeneity in locations proximate to ecosystem services.

Issue Date:
Nov 12 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-11-12, last modified 2017-11-12

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