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The Underpricing of Nature

  • Edward B. Barbier
Chapter

Abstract

At the heart of structural imbalance in the world economy is the underpricing of nature. In this chapter, we explore the factors underlying this pervasive problem. In particular, we focus on a key question: If natural and ecological capital are valuable sources of economic wealth, why are we squandering these assets? In addition, if ecological scarcity and natural capital depreciation are on the rise, why are we are we doing so little to address these problems?

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Notes

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    David W. Pearce and Edward B. Barbier (2000) Blueprint for a Sustainable Economy. London: Earthscan, p. 157, also describe this viciouscycle: “Important environmental values are generally not reflected in markets, and despite much rhetoric to the contrary, are routinely ignored in policy decisions. Institutional failures, such as the lack of property rights, inefficient and corrupt governance, political instability and the absence of public authority or institutions, also compound this problem. The result is economic development that produces excessive environmental degradation and increasing ecological scarcity. As we have demonstrated, the economic and social costs associated with these impacts can be significant.”Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Edward B. Barbier 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward B. Barbier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WyomingUSA

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