The physicist Steven Weinberg once remarked that when you have “seen” one electron, you have seen them all. What makes socioecological systems so interesting is their specificity. When you have studied one, you have by no means studied them all. Each socio-ecological system displays a blend of generality and specificity. That is why a number of us who had been concerned that academic research in the world's poorest countries should not irretrievably lag behind, felt that environmental and resource economics might well be a promising field to nurture in developing countries. Until the early 1990s, this wasn't an obvious point of view.
Environmental and resource economics, as the subject had developed in the United States, was almost wholly concerned with the study of amenities and not so much with household