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Reconsidering Environmental Policy: Prescriptive Consequentialism and Volitional Pragmatism

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  • Daniel Bromley

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    Abstract

    Prescriptive consequentialism informs currentassessments of rational action in economics. Choice is alleged to start with stable andknown preferences over alternative outcomes,and rational agents choose actions thatmaximize well being with respect to thesepreferences. Evidence suggests that thisformulation fails as an accurate and reliabledescription of how individuals make choices,and this formulation seems particularly at oddswith collective decision making with respect toenvironmental policy. Pragmatism, an importantbranch of philosophy, offers a theory of humanaction that economists would find helpful. This promise is especially pertinent to effortsdevoted to the assignment of values to parts ofnature, and to environmental policy in general. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 73-99

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:28:y:2004:i:1:p:73-99

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

    Related research

    Keywords: collective action; consequentialism; environmental policy; pragmatism; volitional pragmatism;

    References

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    1. Bromley, Daniel W., 1998. "Searching for sustainability: The poverty of spontaneous order," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 231-240, February.
    2. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
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    4. Ebru Alpay & Joe Kerkvliet & Steven Buccola, 2002. "Productivity Growth and Environmental Regulation in Mexican and U.S. Food Manufacturing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 887-901.
    5. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Cropper, Maureen L. & Eads, George C. & Hahn, Robert W. & Lave, Lester B. & Noll, Roger G. & Portney, Paul R. & Russell, Milson & Schmalensee, Richard & Smith, V. Kerry & Stavins, , 1997. "Is there a role for benefit-cost analysis in environmental, health, and safety regulation?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 195-221, May.
    6. Daniel W. Bromley, 1997. "Constitutional Political Economy: Property Claims In A Dynamic World," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 43-54, October.
    7. Boadway, Robin W, 1976. "Integrating Equity and Efficiency in Applied Welfare Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 541-56, November.
    8. Samuels, Warren J, 1971. "Interrelations Between Legal and Economic Processes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 435-50, October.
    9. Payne, John W & Bettman, James R & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Measuring Constructed Preferences: Towards a Building Code," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 243-70, December.
    10. Shira B. Lewin, 1996. "Economics and Psychology: Lessons for Our Own Day from the Early Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1293-1323, September.
    11. Daniel Bromley, 1992. "The commons, common property, and environmental policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, January.
    12. Daniel W. Bromley, 1997. "Rethinking Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1383-1393.
    13. Altman, Morris, 2001. "When green isn't mean: economic theory and the heuristics of the impact of environmental regulations on competitiveness and opportunity cost," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 31-44, January.
    14. Arild Vatn & Daniel Bromley, 1997. "Externalities — A market model failure," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 135-151, March.
    15. Cooter, Robert & Rappoport, Peter, 1984. "Were the Ordinalists Wrong about Welfare Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 507-30, June.
    16. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    17. Gregory, Robin & Lichtenstein, Sarah & Slovic, Paul, 1993. " Valuing Environmental Resources: A Constructive Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 177-97, October.
    18. Vatn Arild & Bromley Daniel W., 1994. "Choices without Prices without Apologies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 129-148, March.
    19. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson, 1990. "A Review Article: The Case against the Use of the Sum of Compensating Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 471-94, August.
    20. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
    21. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Markets and Freedoms: Achievements and Limitations of the Market Mechanism in Promoting Individual Freedoms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 519-41, October.
    22. Bromley, Daniel W., 1995. "Property rights and natural resource damage assessments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-135, August.
    23. Coate, Stephen, 2000. "An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 437-55, April.
    24. Bromley, Daniel W., 1990. "The ideology of efficiency: Searching for a theory of policy analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 86-107, July.
    25. Field, Alexander James, 1981. "The problem with neoclassical institutional economics: A critique with special reference to the North/Thomas model of pre-1500 Europe," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 174-198, April.
    26. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    27. Hahn, F H, 1970. "Some Adjustment Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(1), pages 1-17, January.
    28. Bromley, Daniel W., 1989. "Entitlements, missing markets, and environmental uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-194, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Bromley, Daniel W., 2007. "Environmental regulations and the problem of sustainability: Moving beyond "market failure"," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 676-683, September.
    2. Zylicz, Tomasz, 2010. "Goals and Principles of Environmental Policy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 299-334, May.
    3. Hiedanpaa, Juha, 2005. "The edges of conflict and consensus: a case for creativity in regional forest policy in Southwest Finland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 485-498, December.
    4. Paavola, Jouni, 2007. "Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-103, June.
    5. Pellegrini, L., 2009. "Forest management in Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua : reform failures?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18719, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    6. Stephenson, Kurt & Shabman, Leonard A., 2008. "The Contribution of Nonmarket Valuation to Policy: The Case of Nonfederal Hydropower Relicensing," 2008 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2008, Dallas, Texas 6823, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. Sandra Veuthey & Julien-Francois Gerber, 2011. "Valuation Contests over the Commoditisation of the Moabi Tree in South-Eastern Cameroon," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 239-264, May.
    8. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
    9. Kataria, Mitesh, 2012. "The role of preferences in disagreements over scientific hypothesis: Evidence on cognitive bias in formation of beliefs," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 364-369.
    10. Lenka Slavikova, 2013. "From Cost-Benefit to Institutional Analysis in The Economics of the Environment," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(2), June.
    11. Mitesh Kataria, 2010. "The Role of Preferences in Disagreements over Scientific Hypothesis: An Empirical Inquiry into Environmental and Economic Decision Making," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-088, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
    12. Labbate, Gabriel, 2008. "The incremental cost principle and the conservation of globally important habitats: A critical examination," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 216-224, April.
    13. Jiřina Jílková & Lenka Slavíková, 2009. "Economics of the Environmental Protection on the Crossroad," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(5), pages 660-676.

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