About this book
Since the 'environmental revolution' began in the late 1960s, economists have done a lot of work in the field of economic theory-building on the preservation of nature. Meanwhile, environmental economic literature has swelled to a large stream of articles in journals of different signature. As a result, a coherent economic view of the phenomenon ofenvironmental degradation has emerged. Several kinds of 'green' public policies and their impacts on both nature and the performance of the economy have been analysed. The feasibility ofspecific types of policy has also been discussed. The aim of the book is to provide an insight into the ways economists analyse the problems ofenvironmental pollution and the depletion ofnatural resource. To this purpose a number of articles have been selected. Some of them have a fundamental character, others an applied nature and are foremost, practically oriented. The presentation of the collection emphasizes our belief that economists are able to deliver an essential contribution to the design of policies to protect nature. It is clear that 'nature' and 'environment' may no longer be regarded as 'free gifts' to society. Rather, they have to be seen as scarce resources, and environmental disruption and resource depletion as allocation problems. Ifa natural resource is scarce, a price must be charged in accordance with the degree ofscarcity since otherwise society will be confronted with misallocations. In this connection there are two topics which are of particular interest to economists.