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About this book
About this book
Presents an integrated understanding of environmental and resource economics that acknowledges the disciplinary tie between economics and ecology. Contents include the economics of pollution, natural resources and natural resource scarcity, ecological economics, and the economics of sustainable development. This revised and updated edition contains new examples, new pedagogical features and new questions for discussion.
Part 1: Fundamental assumptions, concepts and theories of economics and ecology essential for understanding the links between the natural environment and the human economy. 1. The Natural Environment and the Human Economy. The neoclassical economics perspectives 1.1 Introduction 1.2 The market as provider of information on resource scarcity 1.2.1 Price as an indicator of absolute scarcity 1.2.2 Price as an indicator of relative scarcity and opportunity cost 1.2.3 Price as a signal of emerging resource scarcity 1.3 Factor substitution possibilities, technological changes and resource scarcity 1.3.1 Factor substitution and the implication it has on resource availability 1.3.2 Changes in production technology: technical advances 1.4 The human economy and the natural world: the neoclassical worldview 1.5 Chapter summary Review and discussion questions 2. The Natural Environment and the Human Economy: an ecological perspective 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Ecosystem structure 2.3 Ecosystem function 2.4 Materials recycling 2.5 Eco-dynamics: succession, equilibrium, stability, resilience and complexity 2.6 The laws of matter and energy 2.7 The basic lessons of ecology 2.8 Humanity as the breaker of climaxes 2.9 Chapter summary Review and discussion questions Part 2: The economics of the environment: theories and alternative public policy instruments 3. Fundamentals of the Economics of Environmental Resources: The "Optimal" Trade-Off Between Environmental Quality and Economic Goods 3.1 Introduction 3.2 The economic process and the assimilative capacity of the natural environment 3.3 Why market may fail to allocate environmental resources optimally? 3.3.1 Common property resources and the economic problem 3.3.2 Environmental externalities and their economic consequences 3.4 The macroeconomic effects of environmental regulation: an overview 3.5 Chapter summary Review and discussion questions 4. The Economic Theory of Pollution Control: The "Optimal" Level of Pollution 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Minimization of waste disposal costs 4.2.1 Determinants of pollution control costs 4.2.2 Determinants of pollution damage costs 4.3 The optimal level of pollution. (Part contents.)