New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Page 32 2— History and Scope of TCM In this chapter we give a concise history of the origin of TCM and its early development. We then examine briefly the most significant advances over the last three decades or so, which will give you an appreciation of its scope. We then summarize what TCM does well, as you saw in Chapter 1 and what it cannot do. You might like to scan this chapter initially and come back and read it more thoroughly after you become familiar with the methodology. Amore comprehensive examination of some of these issues is presented later in the book at appropriate points. History of TCM The history of TCM is examined in this section in terms of the original proposal and execution, followed by a concise examination of later developments. Original Suggestion and Execution TCM has developed from a suggestion made by Harold Hotelling in 1947 in a release on the economics of recreation in US national parks by the National Park Service. The Service wanted to know how economic principles could be used to demonstrate economic values produced by national parks in the hope that parks could be shown to produce benefits exceeding costs to taxpayers. The Park Service contacted a number of prominent economists of the day to find out what could be done to value the parks. Among the many responses they received, only the one by Hotelling was based on solid economic principles. In retrospect this should have been little surprise,...
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