Scarcity and Growth Revisited: Natural Resources and the Environment in the New Millennium / Edition 1

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Overview

In this volume, a group of distinguished international scholars provides a fresh investigation of the most fundamental issues involved in our dependence on natural resources. In Scarcity and Growth (RFF, 1963) and Scarcity and Growth Reconsidered (RFF, 1979), researchers considered the long-term implications of resource scarcity for economic growth and human well-being. Scarcity and Growth Revisited examines these implications with 25 years of new learning and experience. It finds that concerns about resource scarcity have changed in essential ways. In contrast with the earlier preoccupation with the adequacy of fuel, mineral, and agricultural resources and the efficiency by which they are allocated, the greatest concern today is about the Earth's limited capacity to handle the environmental consequences of resource extraction and use. Opinion among scholars is divided on the ability of technological innovation to ameliorate this 'new scarcity.' However, even the book's more optimistic authors agree that the problems will not be successfully overcome without significant advances in the legal, financial, and other social institutions that protect the environment and support technical innovation. Scarcity and Growth Revisited incorporates expert perspectives from the physical and life sciences, as well as economics. It includes issues confronting the developing world as well as industrialized societies. The book begins with a review of the debate about scarcity and economic growth and a review of current assessments of natural resource availability and consumption. The twelve chapters that follow provide an accessible, lively, and authoritative update to an enduring-but changing-debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'[The authors] look at the current state of research in the scarcity of natural resources. The focus is on defining and examining the implications of resource scarcity and assessing the role of policy in minimizing its impact. . . . This work would serve as a worthy supplement to an environmental policy course or as a stand alone text in a seminar on scarcity. . . . Highly recommended.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933115115
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/15/2005
  • Series: RFF Press Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 306

Meet the Author

R. David Simpson is an economist with the National Center for Environmental Economics, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Michael Toman is a senior economist in the environment division of the sustainable development department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). At the time this book was written, he was a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, where he worked for over 20 years.

Robert U. Ayres has been a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie-Mellon University and a Sandoz Professor of Economics and Technology Management at INSEAD, in France. He is currently an Institute Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria and a professor of environmental science at Chalmers Institute of Technology, Goteborg University, and Kalmar University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the "new scarcity" 1
2 Mineral resources and consumption in the twenty-first century 33
3 Economics of scarcity : the state of the debate 54
4 Ecosystem goods and services and their limits : the roles of biological diversity and management practices 78
5 Emerging scarcities : bioenergy-food competition in a carbon constrained world 98
6 Sustainability and its economic interpretations 121
7 Resources, scarcity, technology, and growth 142
8 Endogenous technological change, natural resources, and growth 155
9 Evolutionary analysis of the relationship between economic growth, environmental quality, and resource scarcity 177
10 Environmental policy as a tool for sustainability 198
11 Public policy : inducing investment in innovation 225
12 The marvels and perils of modernity : a comment 250
13 Intragenerational versus intergenerational equity : views from the south 261
14 Sustainable economic development in the world of today's poor 267
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