This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature on the economic values for ecosystem goods and services in Mexico. We analyzed 106 studies that estimated an economic value for any given environmental good or service in the country. In total, we coded and classified 352 values according to the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) and the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) ecosystem classification. We then estimated an econometric model to compare the value of different services in different ecosystems. We show that regulation services are more valuable than cultural and provisioning services, that wetlands are more valuable than forests and cultivated systems, and that deforestation for arable land is not cost-effective, because the regulation services of forests are more valuable than the provisioning services of crops. We also calculate the elasticity between the value of ecosystem services that forests provide in Mexico (in USD/hectare per year) and the supply of each ecosystem (in hectares). This elasticity is statistically significant and equal to −0.37. This estimate is relevant in policy terms, since it adds an economic rationale for conservation to other moral and philosophical criteria, especially in areas currently experiencing a high degree of deforestation and degradation.
Literature review; Nature economic valuation; Environmental policy; Environmental economics