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Cows are Better than Condos, or How Economists Help Solve Environmental Problems

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  • Mark Sagoff

Abstract

This essay explores three case studies that illustrate the exemplary use of economic analysis in environmental decision-making. These include: 1) the creation of a market in tradable grazing rights in the American West; 2) a cost analysis that facilitated a negotiated rulemaking at a power plant in Arizona; and 3) a conception of production-based pollution allowances that led to an agreement for regulating Intel microprocessor production plants. The paper argues that cost-benefit analysis may be less useful than other kinds of economic analysis that can guide and inform rather than judge and second-guess the outcome of negotiated and collaborative decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Sagoff, 2003. "Cows are Better than Condos, or How Economists Help Solve Environmental Problems," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 12(4), pages 449-470, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev12:ev1221
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental policy; cost-benefit analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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