The roles of ownership, ecology, and economics in public wetland-conservation decisions

Amy W. Ando, Michael Getzner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars have studied the problem of optimal reserve-site selection. However, the actual conservation choices made by government decision makers may yield reserve networks that are far from optimal. This paper uses data on patterns of wetland conservation in Austria in order to identify patterns in government decisions regarding which wetlands to protect. We find that conservation decisions are guided at least in part by variation in ecological value and economic cost. However, there is also a marked bias against conserving lands that happen to be privately owned. This bias against protecting private land is likely to be cost-ineffective, driven by asymmetric information and political pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-303
Number of pages17
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006


  • Conservation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Ownership
  • Priorities
  • Reserve-site selection
  • Wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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