We exploit the known links between natural habitats and biodiversity to pose and study the biodiversity conservation question as an optimal stopping problem. We extend the extant literature on this question by studying the role that autonomous and nonautonomous policies play in the decision to conserve biodiversity over time and uncertainty. We first construct a dynamic and stochastic model of decision making in the context of biodiversity conservation. Next, we use this model to analyze the expected utility of a social planner when this planner uses, respectively, autonomous and nonautonomous policies. Finally, we compare and contrast the properties of autonomous and nonautonomous conservation policies and we discuss the magnitude of the flexibility premium stemming from the maintenance of temporal flexibility in decision making.

Publication Date



Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Sustainability (GIS)


RIT – Main Campus