Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy
AbstractThere is a long-standing trade-off in bioculture between concentrating on high-yield varieties and maintaining sufficient diversity to lower the risks of catastrophic infection. The paper uses a simple ecology-based model of endogenous disease to indicate how a local decision to plant more of a widely grown crop creates negative externalities by increasing the probability that new pathogens will evolve to attack the crop globally. Society's basic issue concerns where to locate on an efficiency frontier between economic profitability and a standard formula for ecological entropyâ€”proved here to be a rigorous measure of â€œgeneralized resistanceâ€ to crop-ecosystem failure.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3693703.
Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics -Cambridge Massachusetts-
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