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Potential damage costs of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera infestation in Europe – the ‘no control’ scenario


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    This is close to the average long-term interest rate of 4.85% in the EU over the past nine years 2000–2008 using data provided by the European Central Bank (2009).

Justus Wesseler (corresponding author), Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. E-mail:


The Western Corn Rootworm (WCR or Dvv., Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Le Conte) was first detected in Europe in the early nineties in Serbia. Since then the beetle has spread to more than 15 European countries. We assess the potential damage costs of the invasive species Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Dvv.) in Europe under a ‘no control’ scenario. While previous studies considered benefits and costs at country level, this study explicitly investigates the external benefits of control in one country for other countries. The assessment considers the spatial and temporal aspects of invasion considering a number of scenarios developed together with experts. The results indicate enormous economic benefits can be gained by controlling further spread of Dvv. The economic benefits of control range between 143 million Euro in the best case and 1739 million Euro in the worst case scenario. The most likely scenario results in average annual economic benefits of 472 million Euro. Even in countries that do not face high damage costs control can be justified as this will reduce the speed of spread of the WCR and generate a positive externality for other regions with higher damage costs.