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Economic Theory for the Environment

Economic Theory for the Environment

Essays in Honour of Karl-Göran Mäler

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Bengt Kriström, Partha Dasgupta and Karl-Gustaf Löfgren

Karl-Göran Mäler’s work has been a mainstay of the frontiers of environmental economics for more than three decades. This outstanding book, in his honour, assembles some of the best minds in the economics profession to confront and resolve many of the problems affecting the husbandry of our national environments.


Bengt Kriström

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


* Bengt Kriström I should like to begin by noting that the compilation of this book has been an easy task. Everyone we contacted in this matter was truly enthusiastic about the whole idea and vigorously supported it. It is quite common that a Festschrift is compiled by the students of the professor in question, and this is, to some extent, also true here. In one way or another, we are all Karl-Göran Mäler’s students. His contributions have in many ways served to define the shoulders of knowledge on which we stand when exploring our subjects further. Paul Samuelson once said that the only coin worth having was the appreciation of one’s peers. With Samuelson’s currency, Mäler is a very rich man, indeed, not only because the coins come, so to speak, from social scientists but also, for example, from natural scientists. Mäler’s work has been a mainstay of the frontiers of environmental economics for more than three decades, in both a stock and a flow sense. This is a remarkable achievement in itself. I certainly wish I knew the secret behind this, besides the usual formula: to work hard and to have exceptional powers. But I think we need more than this. Richard Feynman, one of the outstanding scientists of the last century, once said: ‘With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn...