Ecosystem Services and Land Rental Markets: Producer Costs of Bat Population Crashes

Dale T. Manning, Amy Ando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonmarket natural capital provides crucial inputs across the economy. We use land rental market data to calculate the welfare impacts of a change in an unpriced natural capital while accounting for spatial spillovers. We apply the welfare analysis to examine the cost of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, which provide pest control services to agricultural producers. WNS, a disease that decimates bat populations, arrived in the United States in the mid-2000s. Leveraging the exogenous change in bat populations, we find that the loss of bats in a county causes land rental rates to fall by $2.84 per acre plus $1.50 per acre per neighboring county with WNS. Agricultural land falls by 1,102 acres plus 582 acres per neighboring county with WNS. As of 2017, agricultural losses from WNS were between $426 and $495 million per year. These estimates of ecosystem service values can inform public management of society’s natural capital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1277
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • ecosystem services
  • land rent
  • natural capital
  • nonmarket valuation
  • weak complements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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