The Economics of Environmental Quality

The Economics of Environmental Quality

The Economics of Environmental Quality

The Economics of Environmental Quality


An introduction to the economics of the environment, it provides a coherent chain of theoretical and empirical reasoning on environmental problems and measures to control them and reduce their severity. It equips the reader with the basic tools needed to assess the economic damage caused by materials discharged to air, water, and other environmental media.

The all-new Chapter 2 in this edition makes the text more accessible by applying the basic elements of microeconomics analysis to environmental issues: supply and demand for ordinary and environmental goods, emphasizing both similarities and differences; also market failure, public goods, property rights, the "free rider" problem, and externalities. A section on hazardous substances has been added along with a discussion of the latest environmental alternative reforms. The book now ends with a new chapter on the prospects for environmental economics.

In Part I, the authors establish a theoretical base for the material in subsequent sections. They review key elements of microeconomic theory and extend them to include polluting discharges. Principles of welfare economics, of market failure from externalities, and of benefit-cost analysis receive careful exposition. They are then applied to alternative government programs such as effluent fees, subsidies, and regulation designed to optimize resource allocation in the presence of externalities.

Part II draws together technical data on water, air, and solid-waste discharges. Sources, amounts, damages, abatement techniques, and benefit-cost calculations are pollutants. The final section deals with pollution-control programs now in effect, proposals for new policies, and future role of environmental economics.


This is a textbook on environmental economics intended for undergraduates who have had at least one semester of introductory microeconomics. While in no way lowering the level of the first edition, the second edition adds additional material designed to appeal to a broader range of interests. By substituting the new Chapter 2 for Chapters 3 and 4 (Chapters 2 and 3 of the first edition), The Economics of Environmental Quality may be successfully used in environmental economics classes composed not only of economics majors but also of students with a diverse background (environmental design, minerals and land management, biology, ecology, and so on). Full comprehension of Chapters 3 and 4 will, as with the earlier edition, require readers to know the elementary theories of the firm and the consumer, as well as suppy and demand. Some of the exposition is abstract, but no mathematics beyond high school algebra is used in the text. No knowledge of welfare economics is assumed; and the reader need have no prior acquaintance with environmental problems.

As with any applied subject in economics, some knowledge of the subject matter will increase the depth of understanding gained from reading this book. However, the second edition does contain much more institutional material and more on the "nuts and bolts" of ben-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.