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Jennifer L. Brown

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 61: Environmental Economics

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Environmental Economics
Environmental economics

On the political stage, environmental issues are usually placed at odds with economic issues. This is because environmental goods, such as clean air and clean water, are commonly viewed as priceless and not subject to economic consideration. However, the relationship between economics and the environment could not be more natural.

In its purest form, economics is the study of human choice. Because of this, economics sheds light on the choices that individual consumers and producers make with respect to numerous goods, services, and activities, including choices made with respect to environmental quality. Economics is able not only to identify the reasons that individuals choose to degrade the environment beyond what is most beneficial to society, but also to assist policy makers in developing ...

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