Edited by Henk Folmer, H. Landis Gabel, Shelby Gerking and Adam Rose
Chapter 15: On the future of environmental economics
Rüdiger Pethig 1 INTRODUCTION Environmental economics (EE1) has passed its age of infancy. In terms of monographs, proceedings volumes, specialized professional journals and papers in economic journals it grew rapidly over recent decades and established itself as a discipline based on the powerful economic paradigm and reaching beyond it to capture important economy–environment interactions. As compared to its mother discipline, economics, EE is still young but this juvenile is increasingly interested in knowing where she comes from, what her present position is and, in particular, where she will or ought to go. After a period of strong if not stormy growth, the desire for orientation and guidance increases. It materializes in new textbooks, survey articles (in specialized areas), handbooks, yearbooks2 and conferences, which seek to identify and discuss the frontiers of research in EE. Focusing on research frontiers is a challenging and ambitious, if not presumptuous, enterprise, directed towards outlooks on what is perceived as the likely, promising and/or necessary agenda of future research. Let me be very clear from the outset that I am neither capable nor willing to adopt the role of a prophet, a futurologist, an ‘opinion leader’ or a ‘trend setter’. In my view, the most promising way to think about future research in EE is to let competent senior environmental economists (EEsts) survey their speciﬁc research topics and use their experience and overview to identify what will be, or ought to be, ahead of us. But what, then, is the possible role...
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