EC238 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Precautionary Principle, Private Good, Social Capital

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Image of easter island 1880 courtesy of wikimedia commons. One of the most controversial questions discussed by economists and non-economists alike concerns the relation between increased economic activity and the environment. The common preconception of many citizens is that economic development must be bad for the environment, but as the text mentions, the story is not as clear as one might expect because of a number of influences. While reading this chapter, you should focus on these key concepts which will come up often as we work our way through the course: In environmental economics we consider the following two questions: To answer these questions, we will: consider ways society can reduce the degradation of the natural environment; Assess different methods of reaching an efficient and equitable use of resources from society"s point of view (not just the viewpoint of firms or consumers but all of society); and.

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