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Environmental and Resource Economics in the World of the Poor: An Invited Lecture on the Occasion of the 45th Anniversary of Resources for the Future

By: Partha Dasgupta

32 pages, B/w photo

Resources for the Future

Paperback | Dec 1998 | #84462 | ISBN: 0915707918
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About this book

The author explains his views on why traditional environmental and resource economics has not met the needs of the developing world. The gaps between haves and have-nots are so great, says Dasgupta, that many of our basic premises are mistaken or irrelevant in other international contexts. Thus he believes that the environmental economics to be found in the literature in the North cannot much resonate in the South. This breach helps explain the exclusion of environmental concerns from economic modelling in poor nations, causing a gap in development economics and the understanding of poverty which deepens economic and environmental peril. The author establishes important connections between poverty, high fertility and malnourishment with environmental damage and civic disconnection. For example, communal ownership is common in poor rural areas. Democratic decision making allows affected parties to make their own decisions. Such self-determination often results in more careful use of resources, yet democracy is too rarely found in these areas. High birthrates also help lock communities into poverty and resource degradation. Dasgupta discusses the interrelationships among such varied factors.

in understanding poverty


Introduction Paul R. Portney The Environment in Environmental and Development Economics Orthodox Dichotomies and Their Limitations Communal Rights and the Local Commons Institutional Failure as a Cause of Environmental Degradation Fertility Behavior and the Structure of Households Population, Poverty, and the Local Environment Some Tentative Conclusions

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Partha Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge as well as a University Fellow at Resources for the Future. He is the author of An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution.

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