The Physical Environment

  • J. L. Baxter


Although most space is devoted in the present study to the social aspects of the general environment, since they have been grossly neglected by most economists, there is a growing recognition that economists have also failed lamentably to take adequate account of the physical environment in their deliberations. These sins of omission have given rise to heightened concern as the twentieth century has progressed and social and environmental problems have multiplied. In the environmental field, there were signs in the late 1960s and early 1970s that some economists at least were prepared to try and swim against the tide, and numerous articles and books were devoted to environmental economics. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), representing the more advanced industrial countries, even established an Environmental Directorate, and in 1971 went so far as to arrange a seminar on environmental economics, with the aims of clarifying the issues of greatest concern and formulating common goals among its member states. Unfortunately, these various initiatives did not have the desired impact — perhaps because much of the work undertaken stuck rigidly to the neo-classical tradition, encountering the many problems associated with that approach, to which I shall return below.


Smoke Emission Resource Owner Future Prex Social Discount Rate True Uncertainty 
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Copyright information

© J. L. Baxter 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Baxter
    • 1
  1. 1.Sheffield University Management SchoolUK

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