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The Economics of Environmental Degradation
Tragedy for the Commons?
The Economics of Environmental Degradation provides an institutional economics approach to analyse the underlying causes of continuing environmental degradation: poverty, population, poor policies and trade.
After a critical, up-to-date survey of the most recent literature, the authors consider whether there is some common or deeper explanation of environmental degradation. They conclude that a problem results whenever human exploitation of the environment outruns the capacity of human institutions to adapt and to evolve methods for managing exploitation. Environmental degradation will persist because it is the static result of the ongoing dynamic contest between opportunistic individuals and institutional adaptation.
The book assumes no prior knowledge of economics or the environment and will appeal to a wide readership of policymakers and students with a background in economics, geography, conservation biology, environmental studies and development studies.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`The multidisciplinary nature of environmental degradation and sustainable development is such that the volume may appeal to earth scientists and life scientists, and this review is directed towards this potential readership, which might be unfamiliar with the economists' perspectives. . . a useful volume for anyone wanting to understand more about how economists analyse the problems of environmental degradation and conceptualize associated policy issues.' -- David Barker, Land Degradation and Development `Alone among recent publications on environmental issues, this book tackles the problem of environmental degradation from a rather specific viewpoint - that of the social and institutional problems that are seen as its underlying causes. . . . Unlike many edited volumes, this one is more than a collection of essays. Its seven chapters, written by six different authors, develop a thematic focus into a well-structured book. . . . The volume contains plenty of useful, up-to-date material for an intermediate course on environmental and natural resource economics. The arguments in most chapters are widely supported by data, examples and case studies. Besides being a potential supplementary text for students, its pragmatic and applied focus should also make it interesting to policymakers concerned with environmental issues.' -- Silvana Dalmazzone, Eastern Economic Journal