Randall Kramer head shot

Randy Kramer

A New Type of Shared Values

How much is the flood prevention provided by a coastal wetland worth? What would U.S. consumers be willing to pay to protect a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica? How much are the human lives saved through pollution reduction worth?

These aren’t the type of questions most economists, policymakers and resource managers used to ponder.

But they do now.

And that’s largely thanks to Randy Kramer.

Kramer, professor emeritus of environmental economics, helped pioneer the concept of placing a market value on the non-monetary services healthy ecosystems provide. He also helped develop the science-based methodology needed to make the concept stick.

Today, conservationists, policy analysts, environmental managers, economists, public health officials, government regulators and international aid organizations worldwide are putting his methods into practice every day to identify the true worth of everything from forests and watersheds to endangered species and environmental intervention.