Managing Pollution

Managing Pollution

Economic Valuation and Environmental Toxicology

Edited by Clive L. Spash and Sandra McNally

Economists are concerned by a wide range of environmental impacts from pollutants, as they affect human welfare and not just human health. This insightful book demonstrates how economic analysis can contribute to decision making in environmental policy and discusses the theoretical limitations of economic valuation.

Preface

Edited by Clive L. Spash and Sandra McNally

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics

Extract

This book arose from a request by an environmental toxicologist in the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology about how economists addressed pollution and toxic chemical problems. He felt there was a need to communicate the content and meaning of economic approaches to his colleagues. Despite efforts of both environmental and ecological economists, there remains a divide between natural and social sciences which is both artificial and often detrimental to environmental policy. Standard methods of higher education and professional training tend to narrow intellectual visions rather than encouraging interdisciplinary thought. Thus, Sandra and I both felt a volume which pulled together on-going research in economics that was attempting to address issues related to environmental pollution could help fill the communication gap, even if only by a small amount. The contributors were encouraged to relate their work to toxicology and the approaches found in the natural science literature on the issue they were studying. The aim was to show how economists make use of and select scientific information. The work included here is largely from within the economic sub-discipline of environmental economics. That is, most of the authors are trying to build upon the framework of mainstream neoclassical economics. The main methodology employed for analysing pollution problems in this area has been cost-benefit analysis. Thus, the book shows how various methods are being applied to assess the benefits of pollution control and some of the difficulties that arise when trying to apply them. There are exceptions in the volume where institutional issues or...