Quantifying Sustainable Development: The Future of Tropical Economies / Edition 3

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Until recently, the phenomenal economic development of the Asian tigers, Chile, and Malaysia, as well as the sustained economic growth of the United States, painted a very desirable and optimistic picture of free markets, fiscal responsibility, and, more generally, the entire dogma of neoclassical economics. As of the Fall of 1998, however, the economies of many tropical countries had contracted severely, and the enthusiasm of the developing tropics for the free market and all of its ancillary policies was decidedly cooler. Have our traditional approaches to economics been failing the developing world?
In this exciting, interdisciplinary book, the "holy grail" of neoclassical economics, growth as "sustainable development," is examined in an explicitly empirical framework using extensive databases on meteorology, demography, soils, agricultural production, and land use in Costa Rica. The contributors apply modern geographical and computational tools to age-old resource issues while asking whether the conventional approaches that we have used for economic analysis are adequate to the task.
Quantifying Sustainable Development: The Future of Tropical Economies includes six major sections beginning with an overview of the changing tropics and how these changes are affecting Costa Rica. Subsequent sections explore the theories and myths that have guided development and the application of new spatial tools for linking economic analysis with the biophysical characteristics of a region. The book concludes with an integrated analysis of energy, economics, and resource quality for each of the major sectors of the Costa Rican economy, including coffee, bananas, industry, and foreign trade. AUTHORBIO:Charles A. S. Hall is affiliated with the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse.
Carlos Leon Perez is affiliated with the Ministero de Agricultura, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Gregoire Leclerc is affiliated with the Laboratorio de Analisis Geografico, Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Foreword by Lester C. Thurow

  • Links economic and biophysical analyses of sustainability
  • Presents new tools and approaches for analysis and decision-making
  • Includes a CD-ROM containing data and programs, color images, animated models, and references

Audience: Landscape ecologists; macroeconomists; resource economists; policy analysts concerned with third-world development issues; agronomists interested in third-world agricultural issues; and GIS developers.

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What People Are Saying

Herman E. Daly
While the IMF, the World Bank, and the government of Costa Rica all nominally favor 'sustainable development,' current development models do not face the hard questions and are therefore often worse than useless. Does not sustainability, even for an ecologically aware country like Costa Rica, depend on population, a lower level of per capita resource use, a lower national and foreign debt, and a lower import dependence on imported food and energy? Hall et al. look behind the financial symbols of development to produce a critically needed empirical framework for integrating economic theory with biophysical realities. One may not agree with all of the authors' criticisms of economics, but we ignore the fundamental lessons of this book at our collective peril.
Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland, School of Public Affairs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123188601
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 761
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

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CD-ROM Enclosed!
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Table of Contents

Sect. I Introduction: The Tropics - Paradise Imperiled?
1 The Changing Tropics
2 A Brief Historical and Visual Introduction to Costa Rica
Sect. II Development and Sustainability
3 The Theories and Myths That Have Guided Development
4 Data on Sustainability in Costa Rica: Time Series Analysis of Population, Land Use, Economics, Energy, and Efficiency
5 Land, Energy, and Agricultural Production in Costa Rica
Sect. IV Building a Geographical Database for Costa Rica
8 Developing a Nationwide Topographical Database
9 Synthesis of Costa Rican Meteorological Information in a Geographical Context
10 Properties, Geographic Distribution, and Management of Major Soil Orders of Costa Rica
11 Remote Sensing and Land Use Analysis for Agriculture in Costa Rica
Sect. V Application to Sustainability Issues for Costa Rica's Natural Resources
12 Temporal and Spatial Overview of Costa Rican Agricultural Production
13 Biophysical Agricultural Assessment and Management Models for Developing Countries
14 Geographical Synthesis of Data on Costa Rican Pastures and Their Potential for Improvement
15 The Extent and Economic Impacts of Soil Erosion in Costa Rica
16 Land Use and Cover Change in Costa Rica: A Geographic Perspective
17 Gradient Analysis of Biomass in Costa Rica and a First Estimate of Countrywide Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Biomass Burning
18 Forestry in Costa Rica and an Estimate of Energy Potentially Available from Forests
19 Assessing the Role of Parks for Protecting Forest Resources Using GIS and Spatial Modeling
Sect. VI Biophysical Analysis of Major Components of the Economy
20 The Costa Rican Banana Industry: Can It Be Sustainable?
21 The Costa Rican Coffee Industry
22 Costa Rican Industry: Characteristics, History, and Potential for Sustainability
23 The Internationalization of the Costa Rican Economy: A Two-Edged Sword
24 An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Structural Adjustment Policies in Costa Rica
25 Comparative Estimates of Sustainability: Economic, Resource Base, Ecological Footprint, and Emergy
26 The Myth of Sustainable Development
App. I Low-Cost Mapmaking
App. II A Free Micro GIS Program
Appendix III
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