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Economics and biological evolution

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Author Info

  • Alistair Munro

Abstract

The employment of insecticides raises the relative fitness of resistant insects; the use of antibiotics applies selection pressure in favour of resistant strains of bacteria; lower limits on fish net mesh size raises the advantages of smaller adults. These are some of the many examples of the unintended impact of human activity upon biological evolution. Often this evolution has economic significance, as it does in the examples quoted. This paper examines some of the principles involved and provides a preliminary analysis of the extent to which the economically optimal inducement of evolution differs from that arising when changes in selection pressures are not anticipated. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02441760
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 429-449

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:9:y:1997:i:4:p:429-449

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

Related research

Keywords: evolution; economics; pesticide resistance; antibiotic resistance;

References

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  1. Caputo, Michael R., 1990. "How to do comparative dynamics on the back of an envelope in optimal control theory," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 655-683, October.
  2. Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-77, May.
  3. Norgaard, Richard B., 1981. "Sociosystem and ecosystem coevolution in the amazon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 238-254, September.
  4. Marini Giancarlo & Scaramozzino Pasquale, 1995. "Overlapping Generations and Environmental Control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 64-77, July.
  5. Regev, Uri & Shalit, Haim & Gutierrez, A. P., 1983. "On the optimal allocation of pesticides with increasing resistance: The case of alfalfa weevil," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 86-100, March.
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