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.

Chapter 6: Linking physical and economic indicators of environmental damages: acidic deposition in Norway

Ståle Navrud

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


Ståle Navrud* INTRODUCTION There are two distinct ways of introducing the sustainability concept in decision making, either as an exogenous variable in the form of physical indicators or as an endogenous variable in economic models, that is, economic indicators. These two approaches are termed here ‘strong sustainability’ and ‘weak sustainability’, respectively. This chapter is an attempt to provide links between these two concepts, by using the strong sustainability indicator of critical loads to describe the environmental change to be valued in a contingent valuation (CV) survey. The CV survey produces monetary values, which are the unit of measure for the weak sustainability indicators. Since the strong sustainability approach is advocated mainly by ecologists and the weak sustainability approach by economists, this study is also an attempt at linking these two often divergent views of sustainable development. The next section reviews definitions of the concept of sustainability and identifies alternative approaches to sustainability, ranging from very weak to very strong. The third section describes the methodology used to link the strong sustainability indicator of critical loads of sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) for acidification and impacts on fish stocks, with environmental valuation techniques like the CV method. The goal is to try to integrate the sustainability dimension in the damage function approach of environmental and resource * The contingent valuation study reported here is part of the LEVE project (‘Air pollution, effects and values’), of the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT), which also provided financial support for the survey. I would...

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