2008_01_29_Presentation - Seven Economic Principles: N....

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Seven Economic Principles: N. Gregory Mankiw The foundations of microeconomics are based on a few principles that can be applied in most situations. How People Make Decisions: 1. People (and society) face tradeoffs. 2. The cost of something is what you have to give up for it. 3. Rational people think at the margin. 4. People respond to incentives. How People Interact: 5. Trade makes people better off. 6. Markets are usually a good way of organizing things. 7. Governments can sometimes improve on market outcomes.
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UP FRONT, Jan. 29 Reading for next time: pp. 116-124. Web site is available through www.blackboard.cornell.edu. Please enroll in course or in Web site so you receive any emails about the course. A word of appreciation for Prof. Greg Poe. If you see an asterisk on a slide and I don’t address it before going to the next slide, please ask me about it.
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UP FRONT, Jan. 29, page 2 Dan’s office hours for the semester: After class in the classroom. Appointments possible. John’s office hours for the semester: M,W noon-2 in Warren 211. Also by appointment.
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Topic for today Social choice from individual human preferences
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ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING
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Social Choice and the Environment At each level of community – local, regional, national, international, or global – society must grapple with three critical, interrelated policy issues. Broadly, these are: 1. Identifying a desired allocation of resources and the corresponding benefit streams they provide; 2. Determining what realms of human-environmental relations necessitate collective, coercive interventions to achieve these objectives, and what realms can be relegated to individual, market-like decision making; 3. Developing and implementing policy instruments within each of these policy realms that are appropriate to specific social, cultural and environmental settings. Although, by necessity, such determinations are made in the present, by humans, entitlements may be accorded to future generations, non-human species, and ecosystems.
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Ethical perspectives vary in the way they accord rights and regards to different entities: Human (Bentham: “…it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”) Sentient beings (Warnock: capacity to suffer pain and
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2008_01_29_Presentation - Seven Economic Principles: N....

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