Carlier, Alexis and Treich, Nicolas (2020) Directly Valuing Animal Welfare in (Environmental) Economics. International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, 14 (1). pp. 113-152.

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Identification Number : 10.1561/101.00000115


Research in economics is anthropocentric. It only cares about the welfare of humans, and usually does not concern itself with animals. When it does, animals are treated as resources, biodiversity, or food. That is, animals only have instrumental value for humans. Yet unlike water, trees or vegetables, and like humans, most animals have a brain and a nervous system. They can feel pain and pleasure, and many argue that their welfare should matter. Some economic studies value animal welfare, but only indirectly through humans’ altruistic valuation. This overall position of economics is inconsistent with the utilitarian tradition and can be qualified as speciesist. We suggest that economics should directly value the welfare of sentient animals, at least sometimes. We briefly discuss some possible implications and challenges for (environmental) economics.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: April 2020
Refereed: Yes
JEL Classification: I30 - General
Q18 - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
Q51 - Valuation of Environmental Effects
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 14:41
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 11:33
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