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The economics of soils’ contribution to human well-being (2022)

Bartkowski B., Massenberg J.

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Soils influence human well-being in manifold ways. However, their multifunctionality implies trade-offs. Moreover, soils are a scarce stock of natural capital. Many soil-based ecosystem services are collective goods, whose provision is affected by externalities of soil management. This chapter provides an economic perspective on soils’ contributions to human well-being and the associated challenges in terms of public preferences, property rights regimes and policy. It offers an overview of key concepts such as soil-based ecosystem services, property rights and collective goods dilemmas, economic valuation as well as incentive-based policy instruments that help align soil management with public preferences and societal well-being.

BonaRes Centre