1st Edition

Economic Theory for Environmentalists

ISBN 9781574440034
Published May 30, 1995 by CRC Press
208 Pages

USD $145.00

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Book Description

Economic Theory for Environmentalists is a much-needed and heralded new book that examines the implications of neoclassical economic theory and how it relates to the environment and environmental activity. It addresses the ongoing conflict between market forces and environmental integrity and explains how neoclassical economic theory views the relationship between economic activity and the natural world.
Each chapter outlines the concepts of economic theory and the relevance of its environmental and policy implications. It focuses on both micro and macro-economics. Policy tools such as price and income elasticities, consumer surplus and methods for measuring the economic value of environmental resources are discussed. A case study which examines a range of policy options is presented. Examples are also given throughout the text to illustrate regional and international policy questions.
Presented in a simple and easy to understand manner, this valuable book is suited for anyone dealing with environmental, economic, or policy issues.

Table of Contents

Markets and Models: The Circular Flow of Economic Activity
Economic Efficiency and Pareto Optimality
The Context of Market Exchange
Economics and the Biophysical World
What This Book Does and Does Not Do
Suggestions for Further Reading
The Theory of the Consumer
The Indifference Curve
The Edgeworth Box Diagram
Pareto Optimality in Exchange
Consumer Theory and the Biophysical World
Models and Reality
Suggestions for Further Reading
The Theory of the Firm
The Isoquant
The Edgeworth Box Diagram for Production
The Production Possibilities Frontier
Production Theory and the Biophysical World
Appendix-A Digression on Functional Form
Suggestions for Further Reading
General Equilibrium and Welfare Economics
General Equilibrium in Exchange
The Social Welfare Function
General Equilibrium Theory and the Biophysical World
Social Welfare and Ethics
Beyond Human Welfare
Suggestions for Further Reading
Introducing Prices: Pareto Optimality & Perfect Competition
Prices in Consumption: The Budget Constraint
The Demand Curve
Prices in Production: The Cost Constraint
The Supply Curve
The Model of Perfect Competition
Efficiency in Resource Use: Long-Run Competitive Equilibrium
Perfect Competition and Pareto Optimality
Prices and the Biophysical World
Suggestions for Further Reading
Market Failure: When Prices Are Wrong
Imperfect Market Structures
Public Goods
Solutions to the Externality Problem-Coase Versus Pigou
Elasticities-Measuring Policy Effectiveness
Consumer Surplus-Who Pays for Intervention?
Intervention Failure
Existence Failure
Suggestions for Further Reading
From Supply and Demand to Social and Ecological Context
Before the Classical Economists
The Classical Economists
The Marginalist Revolution and the Mathematical Foundations of Neoclassical Economics
The Battle Lines Are Drawn: John Maynard Keynes and the General Theory
The Neoclassical Synthesis
Revolution and Counterrevolution: The End of Consensus
New Directions in Economic Theory and Policy:
Ecological Economics
Suggestions for Further Reading
The Challenge of Pollution Control: Groundwater Pollution
Determining the Source of Pollution
The Efficiency Standard
Market Prices Versus Shadow Prices
Determining the Pollution Optimum
The "Second Best" Approach
The Policy Question-How Do We Enforce Pollution Standards?
Safe Minimum Standard Options
Suggested Readings
New Directions for Economics, the Economy, and the Environment
Taking Stock of Where We Are
Economic Decision-Making and the Biophysical World
Economic Decision-Making and Human Culture
Decision Under Uncertainty
Where Do We Go From Here?
Suggested Reading

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Gowdy\, John; O'Hara\, Sabine U


"I have read the first six chapters of the book and found them to be a well written and easy to follow exposition and critique of neoclassical environmental economics. I agree with the authors that environmentalists indeed need to understand neoclassical economics because it is often used against them in their pursuit of improved environmental quality, and it can be used in their favor when presented properly. I believe there is a need for such a book..."
-Douglas E. Booth, College of Business Administration, Marquette University, Milwaukee
"This well-written book is an important contribution to the dialogue between environmental scientists and economists."
John H. Cumberland, University of Maryland
"This book is succinct and very readable."
-Growth and Change, Summer 1995