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Über dieses Buch

This textbook provides a solid introduction to the theoretical and empirical aspects of environmental economics, and their links to environmental policy. It advocates drawing on the economist’s toolbox as a powerful means of finding solutions to environmental problems by addressing the conflict between the societal costs of pollution on the one hand, and the financial costs of emissions reduction on the other. The book presents the main economic theory approaches to handling environmental problems and assessing the monetary value of environmental quality; the most relevant environmental policy instruments and challenges involved in their effective real-world application; and both national and global environmental problems addressed by environmental negotiations and agreements.
Given its scope, the book offers a valuable basis of information for students, and for policymakers pursuing effective environmental policies.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction: Economics and Environmental Degradation

Abstract
This introductory chapter explains why economics has to play a central role in dealing with environmental problems and how environmental economics may serve as a valuable complement to natural sciences in finding solutions to environmental challenges. In particular, it is expounded how economic processes are generically embedded in ecological cycles and how pollution has serious effects on ecosystems and human well-being. This chapter then describes that the market system usually fails to address environmental problems in an adequate way so that environmental policy is needed to internalize the external effects caused by pollution.
Wolfgang Buchholz, Dirk Rübbelke

2. Environmental Externalities and Their Internalization Through Voluntary Approaches

Abstract
In this chapter it is explained how the optimal pollution level can be determined in an elementary model in which the emissions of a single polluter harm a single “victim.” In particular, it is shown how this optimal outcome might in principle be accomplished by bargaining between the polluter and the victim, but there are many obstacles preventing the success of such Coasean bargaining. The chapter also discusses other voluntary approaches for the internalization of environmental externalities, especially for the case of multilateral externalities where several polluters harm each other.
Wolfgang Buchholz, Dirk Rübbelke

3. Monetary Valuation of the Environment

Abstract
This chapter mainly considers the contingent valuation method (CVM) through which agents’ preferences for environmental quality are elicited by survey questions. After describing its microeconomic foundations, the advantages that this widely applied stated preference technique for environmental quality assessment has over revealed preference approaches are highlighted. The chapter then discusses the conceptual and practical problems of CVM studies focussing on the many decisions that evaluators have to make in the design of such studies. The limitations of this technique are pointed out, and it is shown how the quality and validity of CVM studies can be improved by observance of some thoughtful guidelines.
Wolfgang Buchholz, Dirk Rübbelke

4. A Comparison of Environmental Policy Instruments

Abstract
In this chapter, the main instruments of environmental policy are considered. In particular, the advantages that price-based instruments, i.e. emission taxes and cap-and-trade systems, are expected to have over command-and-control approaches are described and the problems that may occur with emission pricing are illuminated. The chapter also refers to practical experiences that have been made with the application of price-based instruments and explains why – despite their basic advantages – these instruments have to be complemented by other measures.
Wolfgang Buchholz, Dirk Rübbelke

5. International Environmental Problems

Abstract
In this chapter, different types of international environmental problems are analyzed from the perspective of elementary game theory. For the case of reciprocal environmental spillovers, as foremost climate change, the basic strategic interactions between countries are described in a simple binary game model. It is shown that different game types may occur and how the type of the game may be transformed if, e.g., the abatement costs are changing or fairness motivations become relevant for the countries. It is moreover explained how in repeated games international cooperation can be stabilized by means of various threat strategies. Finally, factors are highlighted that are favorable for making international cooperation on environmental problems successful in the real world.
Wolfgang Buchholz, Dirk Rübbelke

Backmatter

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