Conservation and Economic Efficiency: An Approach to Materials Policy

By Talbot Page; African Diaspora Studies Institute | Go to book overview

3
Competition Between Primary and Secondary Industries

--Rep. Yates: There is no question that the fabricating part of your business is the part that makes money.

-- Richard Reynolds: And it takes less investment.

THE VERY ACT of regarding the interaction of virgin and scrap material flows from the perspective of industry structure and competition raises basic questions about pricing. Do virgin material industries use their potential monopolistic power to act as conservationists, restricting output as they raise prices? Or do virgin material firms behave like managerial capitalists, reaching out for the growth of "their material" through low prices? As we shall see, it is difficult to observe the actual prices of materials let alone understand the underlying pricing behavior. While much remains uncertain about industry behavior, it is possible, nonetheless, to make explicit some of the economic conditions underlying the competition of scrap and virgin material. Analyzed in terms of perfect and imperfect substitutes, case studies by Sawyer and by Russell and Vaughan suggest that long-run impacts from changes in cost or policy interventions can be large.

The purpose of this introductory look at the complicated pattern of material industries' interaction and competition is to set the stage for later discussion of market inefficiencies, or market failures, and policy

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Conservation and Economic Efficiency: An Approach to Materials Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Title Page xix
  • 1 - Introduction: Toward A Materials Policy 15
  • Part One - Material Flows and Uses 17
  • 2 - Virgin Material Intensity and Waste Management 33
  • 3 - Competition Between Primary and Secondary Industries 34
  • Part Two - Intratemporal Efficiency 59
  • 4 - Discriminatory Pricing 61
  • 5 - Disposal 105
  • 6 - Taxes on VIrgin Materials 139
  • Part Three - Intertemporal Equity 143
  • 7 - The Present Value Criterion 170
  • 8 - The Conservation Criterion 188
  • 9 - The Criteria Reconciled 206
  • 10 - Conclusion 208
  • Appendixes 215
  • Notes 221
  • Notes 225
  • Notes 234
  • Notes 251
  • Index 253
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