Thurs., Sept 1
hat is environmental economics?
Economics - study of the allocation of scarce resources among alternative uses.
Resources in economics – factors of production, traditionally land, labor, capital;
Used to produce goods and services that provide utility or usefulness.
Natural resources (crude oil deposits, fisheries, temperate forests, for example) and
environmental resources (clean air and water, wetlands, tropical forests, for
example) are examples of scarce resources, with competing uses.
Why study environmental economics?
Most natural and environmental resources don't have clearly defined property
rights, many people may gain access to them, they aren't 'owned' by anyone, so no
price is charged for them, and, as a result, they
tend to be ‘over’-used
1. Main concepts and ideas in environmental and resource economics:
Non-rivalry and non-excludability of some natural and environmental resources
Common property and public good characteristics
2. Classification of resources
Non-divisible quantities, provided by natural systems; often used indirectly or
unintentionally, and often providing flows of ecological services
, such as flood
control and water filtration by wetlands, or habitat for shellfish. Environmental
resources may be seen as a form of capital that provide services over time.
Examples: ecosystems and ecological services (ie, wetlands provide flood control,
forested lands contain erosion, dunes preserve and protect coastal systems &
uplands), soil (absorption, recycling of constituent materials), marine resources