As Thomas Sterner points out, the economic 'toolkit' for dealing with environmental problems has become formidable. It includes taxes, charges, permits, deposit-refund systems, labeling, and other information disclosure mechanisms. Though not all these devices are widely used, empirical application has started within some sectors, and we are beginning to see the first systematic efforts at an advanced policy design that takes due account of market-based incentives. Sterner‘s book encourages more widespread and careful use of economic policy instruments. Intended primarily for application in developing and transitional countries, the book compares the accumulated experiences of the use of economic policy instruments in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in select rich and poor countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ambitious in scope, the book discusses the design of instruments that can be employed in a wide range of contexts, including transportation, industrial pollution, water pricing, waste, fisheries, forests, and agriculture. Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management is deeply rooted in economics but also informed by perspectives drawn from political, legal, ecological, and psychological research. Sterner notes that, in addition to meeting requirements for efficiency, the selection and design of policy instruments must satisfy criteria involving equity and political acceptability. He is careful to distinguish between the well-designed plans of policymakers and the resulting behavior of society. A copublication of Resources for the Future, the World Bank, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations 1. Overview of the Book Part 1: The Need for Environmental and Natural Resources Policy 2. Classical Causes of Environmental Degradation 3. Public Economics and Information 4. Adapting models to Ecosystems: Ecology, Time and Space 5. The Evolution of Rights Part 2: Instruments of Environmental Policy 6. Direct regulation of the enviroment 7. Tradable Permits 8. Taxes 9. Subsidies, Deposit Refund, and Refunded Emission Payments 10. Property rights, legal instruments and informational policies Part 3: Selection of Policy Instruments 11. National Environmental Policy and Planning 12. Efficiency of Policy Instruments 13. Role of Uncertainty and Information Symmetry 14. Equilibrium and market conditions 15. Distribution of Costs 16. Politics and Psychology of Policy Instruments 17. International Aspects 18. Design of Policy Instruments Part 4: Policy Instruments for (Road) Transports 19. Environmnental road pricing 20. Taxation or regulation for fuel efficiency 21. Fuel Quality, Vehicle Standards, and Urban Planning 22. Lessons Learned: Transportation Part 5: Policy Instruments for Industrial Pollution 23. Experience in Developed Countries 24. Experience in Developing Countries Part 6: Policy Instruments for Management of Natural Resources and Ecosystems 25. Water 26. Waste 27. Fisheries 28. Agriculture 29. Forestry 30. Ecosystem Services 31. Looking Ahead: Policy Issues and Potential Solutions References
Thomas Sterner is professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a university fellow at Resources for the Future. In March 2009, he will be awarded the Myrdal prize for the best article in the Swedish journal Ekonomisk Debatt.
'This is a valuable guide to the problems of implementing environmental policy.' Regulation 'This book not only details the economic principles behind environmental policy, but also presents a wide range of examples of practical policy design in areas such as road transportation, industrial pollution, and the management of natural resources and ecosystems. ...Put simply, a good source of inspiration.' Journal of Forest Economics 'Thomas Sterner digs deep into the foundations of the subject and probes widely into practical matters of environmental policy. This book will be the starting point of rigorous environmental discourse for a long time to come.' Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge