Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Qualification assignments
Document publication document
Title (Primary) Identifying social values of ecosystem services: Theoretical and empirical investigations
Author Massenberg, J.R.
Source Titel PhD Dissertation
Year 2021
Department OEKON
Volume 4/2021
Page To 310
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Social values; shared values; value pluralism; environmental ethics; environmental valuation; deliberative monetary valuation; stated preferences; ecosystem services; biodiversity; wolf
UFZ wide themes ESCALATE;
UFZ inventory Leipzig, Bibliothek, Berichtsammlung, 00537520, 21-0156 F/E

The thesis at hand theoretically and empirically investigates social values in economic environmental valuation. In the current debate on social values of ecosystem services, economic environmental valuation has been heavily criticised for falling short with regard to conceptual, ethical and methodological issues. Against this background, the thesis overall objective is to make economic contributions to the discussion on social values visible and to reconcile economic valuation and social values.

The first half of this thesis is dedicated to the theoretical analysis of social values. To strengthen the theoretical basis, so far neglected economic theories that implicitly or explicitly discuss social values are identified and linked to the current debate. The insights obtained are incorporated into a novel conceptual framework which synthesises diverging concepts of value and accounts for the multidimensionality of social values by incorporation of three spheres: social, natural and contextual. The novel framework demonstrates that social values and economic environmental valuation are reconcilable, however, implications for economic environmental valuation are rather severe.

On this basis, the second part of the thesis focuses on the empirical analysis of social values. A case study, taking wolf management in Germany as example, is presented. The aim of the empirical section is twofold. Firstly, the consistency of the novel conceptual framework is assessed. Secondly, three different monetary valuation methods (Contingent Valuation, Preference Economisation and Preference Moralisation) are compared in order to evaluate if in terms of expression and elicitation of social values significant differences between the methods exist.

The results of the case study illustrate the consistency of the theoretical framework and show that social values can be identified based on intention (type of preferences expressed), process (changes in stated preferences due to preference construction caused by deliberation or rather social learning process), and scale (values beyond the individual, e.g. with reference to society). However, the results with respect to the method comparison are ambiguous. Still, pathways for the empirical exploration and consideration of social values in economic environmental valuation are shown.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Massenberg, J.R. (2021):
Identifying social values of ecosystem services: Theoretical and empirical investigations
Dissertation, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Juristische und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
PhD Dissertation 4/2021
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ, Leipzig, 310 pp.