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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

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Bromley, 2004. "Reconsidering Environmental Policy: Prescriptive Consequentialism and Volitional Pragmatism," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(1), pages 73-99, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:28:y:2004:i:1:p:73-99
    DOI: 10.1023/B:EARE.0000023821.33379.b7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ferreiro, Maria de Fátima & Gonçalves, Maria Eduarda & Costa, Ana, 2013. "Conflicting values and public decision: The Foz Côa case," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 129-135.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Vargas, Andrés & Lo, Alex Y. & Rohde, Nicholas & Howes, Michael, 2016. "Background inequality and differential participation in deliberative valuation: Lessons from small-group discussions on forest conservation in Colombia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 104-111.
    6. Paavola, Jouni, 2007. "Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-103, June.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Jiřina Jílková & Lenka Slavíková, 2009. "Ekonomie životního prostředí na rozcestí
      [Economics of the Environmental Protection on the Crossroad]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(5), pages 660-676.
    10. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Clark P. Bishop & C. Richard Shumway & Philip R. Wandschneider, 2010. "Agent Heterogeneity in Adoption of Anaerobic Digestion Technology: Integrating Economic, Diffusion, and Behavioral Innovation Theories," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
    17. Andrew Johnston, 2012. "Governing Externalities: The Potential of Reflexive Corporate Social Responsibility," Working Papers wp436, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

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