Monday, October 24, 2011

Economics and Darwin

Robert Frank (Econ prof at Cornell) has an interesting opinion piece in a recent LA Times. There are several parallels with this line of reasoning and the article I linked to in the last post. I'm not a fan of the political turn that Frank takes in the last two sentences. As you know, I think that our job as economists is to be as apolitical as possible, but I wanted you to read this.

Frank's article is based on his recent book "The Darwin Economy". John Whitfield of Slate reviews the book and provides another perspective (part critique, part agreement) on the issue.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Selfishness: problem or solution?

A long but excellent read here at the Atlantic. Incentives, common property, "greed" and an overly optimistic environmental movement.

Hat tip: Kafi G.

Friday, October 14, 2011

not WTP for EVs

People want to use electric vehicles (that's good) but they aren't willing to pay for it (that's bad).
Here's a short article at CNET.
What to do?
Hat tip: DGill

Strong policy and tough decisions needed

This could be the mantra for just about any conservation policy, and is especially true in tough economic times, but in this case pertains to renewable energy in the Caribbean.
Here's a short article at the Barbados Advocate.
How do we garner the support for these tough decisions? How do we get people, businesses and governments to forsake personal gain for the long-term betterment of society? What are the primary obstacles? What are examples of other problems we face today (i.e. other than renewable energy) that can be presented in the same framework?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Readings on valuation

As we get deeper into our discussion of non-market valuation, I'm going to continue my efforts to convince you that economic analysis has a indispensable place at the conservation policy table. This argument is fairly easy to make when I'm talking to economists or economics students, but for those that have never really studied econ before, it's a bit tougher. This is because people who have only studied natural sciences may have a tendency to view all things dealing with markets as the causes of environmental problems rather than the solutions. I hope you're starting to see that it's both.

Please read:

Why Economics Matters for Endangered Species Protection (Shogren et al., 1998)

The Role of Economic Valuation in the Conservation of Tropical Nature (Naidoo, 2008)

Conservation Pays (Yuskavitch, 2007, Defenders of Wildlife)

Marine Conservation: How Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Can Help (Environment Matters, 2008)

Can Environmental Economic Valuation Techniques Aid Ecological Economics and Wildlife Conservation? (Loomis, 2000, Wildlife Society Bulletin)

Of additional interest:

Economic Incentives and Wildlife Conservation (Bulte et al., 2003)

Tons of references and links here:

Economic Valuation References WRI

Reefs here and here and here

Wetlands here

This is a tiny fraction of what's out there. Thoughts?