This paper studies how the intra- and intergenerational distribution of income affects the economic valuation of non-use environmental public goods derived from natural capital. We find that the intergenerational distribution affects the intertemporal valuation of environmental goods derived from natural capital. Specifically, societal WTP elicited as a constant payment fraction of income increases with income growth for complements or the Cobb-Douglas case. However, it is possible that WTP declines with income growth in the case of substitutes. We further confirm that society's mean WTP for natural capital decreases (increases) with intratemporal income inequality if environmental goods derived from natural capital and consumption goods are substitutes (complements).
Finally, we obtain closed-form adjustment factors for benefit transfer to control for differences in dynamic aspects between study and policy sites, such as income growth, the growth rate of the environmental goods, and interest rates. These results are in particular relevant for natural capital accounting and management.
Paper: Meya, J.N., Drupp, M.A., Baumgärtner, S., Quaas, M.F. (2018): Inter- and intragenerational distribution and the valuation of natural capital. WCERE 2018 conference paper.