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The Environmental Turn In Natural Resource Economics: John Krutilla And €Œconservation Reconsideredâ€

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  • Banzhaf, H. Spencer

Abstract

Environmentalism in the United States historically has been divided into its utilitarian and preservationist impulses, represented by Gifford Pinchot and John Muir, respectively. Pinchot advocated conservation of natural resources to be used for human purposes; Muir advocated protection from humans, for nature’s own sake. In the first half of the twentieth century, natural resource economics was firmly in Pinchot’s side of that schism. That position began to change as the postwar environmental movement gained momentum. In particular, John Krutilla, an economist at Resources for the Future, pushed economics to the point that it could embrace Muir’s vision as well as Pinchot’s. Krutilla argued that if humans preferred a preserved state to a developed one, then such preferences were every bit as “economic.†Either way, there were opportunity costs and an economic choice to be made.

Suggested Citation

  • Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2019. "The Environmental Turn In Natural Resource Economics: John Krutilla And €Œconservation Reconsideredâ€," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 27-46, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jhisec:v:41:y:2019:i:01:p:27-46_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2016. "Constructing markets: environmental economics and the contingent valuation controversy," MPRA Paper 78814, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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