Toward a theory of ecosystem well-being

Marc Fleurbaey, Christy Leppanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Can the main methods of social welfare analysis be extended to cover multiple species? Following a non-anthropocentric approach, we examine the pros and cons of various objective and subjective methods of well-being comparisons across species. We argue against normalizing by specific capacities but in favor of taking account of individual preferences and specializations. While many conceptual and practical difficulties remain, it appears possible to develop methods for the assessment of collective well-being of multi-species communities and ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-295
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Bioeconomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Animal preferences
  • Functionings
  • Hedonism
  • Interpersonal comparisons
  • Social welfare
  • Well-being


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