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Beyond Experiments in Development EconomicsLocal Economy-wide Impact Evaluation$
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J. Edward Taylor and Mateusz J. Filipski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198707875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198707875.001.0001

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The Myth of Ecotourism

7 (p.154) Galápagos
Beyond Experiments in Development Economics

J. Edward Taylor

Mateusz J. Filipski

Oxford University Press

The Galápagos Islands’ historical isolation created the unique natural environment that inspired Charles Darwin’s Evolution of the Species. The archipelago is a focus of international conservation efforts. It is a magnet not only for scientists and conservationists but also an increasing number of eco-tourists. There is growing concern about the compatibility of tourism-induced economic growth and conservation in the archipelago. Past studies ignore the economic linkages that transmit impacts of eco-tourist spending through the Galápagos economy. This chapter shows how to use survey data to construct a spatially-integrated (three-island) local economy-wide model to simulate the impacts of eco-tourism. It finds that eco-tourism stimulates income and population growth on the islands, casting doubt on islanders’ ability to balance the dual objectives of economic development and conservation.

Keywords:   Galápagos Islands, eco-tourism, conservation, biodiversity, economy-wide modeling, migration, Ecuador, impact evaluation

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