Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia. Ed. by Timothy C. Haab and John C. Whitehead. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2014. 372 p. acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-1-4408-0119-8). E-book available (978-14408-0120-4), call for pricing.

The editors state up front in their preface that the aim of economics is the study of "stuff"--how it is bought, sold, and used; its costs, benefits, and policies; and whether it is conserved or not conserved, etc. The "stuff" of this single volume encyclopedia is the definitions, descriptions, contributions, and techniques of economics and economists applied to many of the environmental and natural resource contexts and issues. What is missing are more of the intrinsic contributions of the natural environment to maintaining life on Earth. The book would benefit from more emphasis on the well-being of humans and all other species beyond the excellent discussion of ecosystem services (117-120).

Among the many useful and clearly written entries is the one called "Books." It is a short essay and bibliography of texts and other books important to the understanding of economics and human decisions on ecology and the environment.

The contributions of the selected economists to the environment, such as the understanding of conservation (Dr. John V Krutilla, 202), environmental valuation (Sherwin Rosen, 285), and interpreting economic ideas to policy makers (George S. Tolley, 305) and others will lead users to want to learn more about their ideas and influence.

The "Value of Statistical Life" entry (330) is fascinating and troubling. …

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