The RFF Quality of the Environment Program
This book is the final product of an evolutionary process of theoretical and empirical research at Resources for the Future on one aspect of environmental quality problems, namely, that relating to residuals generation and discharge. For more than a decade there has been an active research program at Resources for the Future aimed at understanding and illuminating the nature of environmental pollution problems and at devising policies to deal with them. Many scholars participated in this program, and we will have numerous occasions to draw upon their work in all sections of this book. The authors of this volume were primarily responsible for the overall planning and direction of the program.
Research on environmental problems at RFF was at first an outgrowth of an older water resources research program. Study of the conditions of water supply and demand in the United States soon led to the conclusion that in many regions of the United States deterioration of water quality was at least as important a problem as the adequacy of supply. Moreover, it became clear that these two problems were often tightly interconnected. Starting in 1960, a series of theoretical, case, and comparative international studies on water quality problems was launched. This phase of research culminated in 1968 with a summary and interpretive RFF volume by the present authors, Managing Water Quality: Economics, Technology, Institutions.
Prior to the completion of this set of studies, the first statement of a broader research program was developed by Allen Kneese and Orris Herfindahl in Quality of the Environment: An Economic Approach to SomeProblems in Using Land, Water, and Air