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Economics, Natural-Resource Scarcity and Development: Conventional and Alternative Views

Book Description

Global warming is an increasing problem, tropical forests are being wiped out and major upper watersheds are being degraded. Using insights provided by environmentalism, ecology and thermo-dynamics, this book – first published in 1989 – outlines an economic approach to the use of natural resources and particularly to the problem of environmental degradation. Edward Barbier reviews and critiques the long past of environmental and resource economics and then goes on to elaborate an economics which allows us to develop alternative strategies for dealing with the problems faced. With examples drawn from Latin America and Indonesia, he not only develops a major theoretical advance but shows how it can be applied. Barbier’s work is an important and relevant contribution to the discussion surrounding the economics of environmental sustainability.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Original Title Page
  6. Original Copyright Page
  7. Table of Contents
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Introduction
    1. Economics and natural-resource scarcity
    2. Towards an economics of sustainable development
  10. 1. Historical Approaches to Natural-Resource Scarcity
    1. Malthusian and Ricardian scarcity
    2. Smith, Malthus and Ricardo
    3. Mill, Jevons and Marshall
    4. The special case of Marx
    5. Conclusion: The modern conventional view
    6. Appendix: The Malthus-Ricardo theory of diminishing returns
  11. 2. Non-Economic Influences
    1. Conservationism
    2. Ecology
    3. Thermodynamics
    4. Summary and conclusion: Towards an alternative view
  12. 3. Conventional Theory: Optimal Rates of Depletion
    1. Conventional theories of natural-resource scarcity
    2. Exhaustible resources
    3. Renewable resources
    4. Summary and conclusion
  13. 4. Conventional Theory: Pollution and Natural Environments
    1. Pollution as an externality
    2. Optimal pollution control: charges versus standards
    3. The preservation of natural environments over time
    4. Summary and conclusion
  14. 5. An Alternative View Of Natural-Resource Scarcity
    1. An alternative view of natural-resource scarcity
    2. A theoretical model
    3. Wider implications: Technology, tastes and time
    4. Summary and conclusion
    5. Appendix: A model of economic-environmental interaction
  15. 6. Two Examples: Deforestation in Amazonia and the Global Greenhouse Effect
    1. Deforestation in Amazonia
    2. Summary and conclusion
    3. The global greenhouse effect
    4. Summary and conclusion
  16. 7. Upper Watershed Degradation in Java
    1. On- and off-site effects
    2. Incentives for soil conservation
    3. Economic policies and investment strategies
    4. Summary and conclusion
  17. 8. Conclusion: An Economics of Sustainable Development
    1. Some definitions and conditions
    2. Sustainable development and advanced economies
    3. Sustainable development and developing economies
    4. Summary and conclusion
    5. Appendix: A model of optimal sustainable economic growth
  18. Index