The Problem

  • Horst Siebert


Air and water have long been prototypes of free goods, available in unlimited quantities with no price attached to their use. The Rhine River, with its fairy tales and romantic songs, is an example. It has been used as a common-property resource in a manner similar to the ozone layer and the oceans. Natural resources have been employed in economic activities without consideration of the long-run effects on the life-supporting systems of the planet or the potential losses to future generations. The joint outputs of consumption and production activities have not been factored into the calculation of the economic system. In short, the environment, as the set of natural conditions defining the human living space, has not been taken into consideration by economic theory.


Private Good Fairy Tale Perfect Competition Free Good International Public Good 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    OECD (1989), Water Resource Management. Integrated Policies, Paris.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bakun, A. (1990), Global Climate Change and Intensification of Coastal Ocean Upwelling, in: Science, Vol. 247, January, p. 198–201; McElroy, M. B. and R. S. Salawitch (1989), Changing Composition of the Global Stratosphere, in: Science, Vol. 243, February, p. 763–769; Rosenberg, N. J. (Ed.) (1989), Greenhouse Warming: Abatement and Adaption. Proceedings of a workshop held in Washington, DC, June 14–15, 1988, Wahington, DC; Schneider, S. H. (1989), The Greenhouse Effect: Science and Policy, in: Science, Vol. 243, February, p. 771–781.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    On data compare chapters 1 and 2 in: Suess, M. J. (Ed.) (1985), Ambient Air Pollutants from Industrial Sources. A Reference Handbook, Amsterdam, Elsevier.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Horst Siebert
    • 1
  1. 1.Kiel Institute of World EconomicsKiel 1Germany

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