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Lecture 22: The Environment and Development

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1 Lecture 22: The Environment and Development
Economics and the Environment

2 Environment and Development: The Basic Issues
The concept of sustainable development, and linkages between the environment Sustainability: a development path is sustainable ‘if and only if the stock of overall capital assets remains constant or rises over time’ Environmental accounting: the preservation or loss of valuable environmental resources should be factored into estimates of economic growth and well-being

3 NNP* =GNP –Dm –Dn – R –A NNP*: sustainable net national product
Dm: depreciation of manufactured capital assets Dn: depreciation of environmental capital: monetary value of environmental decay over a year R: expenditure required to restore environmental capital (forests, fisheries etc.) A: expenditure required to avert destruction of environmental capital

4 Population, Resources, and the Environment
Perception that there is a limited population size which can be sustained with the earth’s finite resources Potential for new technologies may alleviate the strain on the resources Growing populations in the LDC have led to land, water, and wood shortages in rural areas, and sanitation and water in urban areas Increasing populations contributes to accelerated degradation of resources

5 Poverty and the Environment
Relationship between environmental destruction and high fertility which are both out growths of absolute poverty Preventing environmental degradation is linked to providing institutional support to the poor Insecure land rights, lack of credit and inputs and absence of information often prevent poor from marking resource augmenting investments which would help preserve the environment

6 Growth versus the Environment
Question of whether or not it is possible to achieve growth without environmental damage The worst environmental damage by the richest billion and poorest billion of the world Therefore idea that increasing incomes of the poor would decrease environmental damage Increasing consumption while keeping environmental degradation low is difficult

7 Rural Development and the Environment
Growing LDC populations will require food production in LDCs to double by 2010 Land in LDC are already being overworked by the existing population Increased accessibility of agricultural inputs and introduction of sustainable methods of farming are need to decrease destructive patterns of land use

8 Urban Development and the Environment
Rapid population increase and rural-urban migration has led to increasing urban population growth Strain on existing urban water supplies and sanitation facilities, high costs of urban crowding Resulting in health hazards as circumstances allow for epidemics and health crises Research reveals that urban environment tends to worsen at a faster rate than urban population size increases so that the marginal environmental cost of additional residents rises over time

9 The Global Environment
As world population grows and incomes rise, net environmental degradation will worsen Efficient use of resources can be undertaken via population abatement technology and resource management Trade-offs between output and environmental improvements will be necessary

10 The Scope of Environmental Degradation
Environmental challenges in developing countries will be caused by poverty These are common where households lack economic alternative to unsustainable patterns of living These include health hazards created by: Lack of access to clean water and sanitation Indoor air pollution Deforestation Severe soil degradation

11 Principal Health and Productivity Consequences of Environmental Damage
See Todaro: Ch. 11 Table 11.1 Example: Water pollution and scarcity More than 2m deaths, and billions of illnesses a year Effect on productivity: declining fisheries, rural household time and municipal costs of providing safe water

12 Traditional Economic Models of the Environment
Privately Owned Resources (11.1) Static Efficiency in Resource Allocation Where total net benefit is maximized when the marginal cost of producing/extracting one more unit of the resource is equal to its marginal benefit

13 Optimal Resource Allocation Over Time (11.2)
Price of a good that is being rationed inter- temporally must equate the present value of the marginal net benefit of the last unit consumed in each period Indifferent between obtaining the next until today or tomorrow Efficient allocation of resources over time must allow for scarcity rent to be collected by owner

14 Common Property Resources and Misallocation (11.3)
Potential profits or scarcity rents will be competed away Misallocation or resources under a common property system Implication of model is the where possible privatization of resources will lead to an efficient allocation of resources Example: relationship between the returns to labor on a given piece of land Scarcity rent: Green area

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