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Environmental & Natural Resource Economics by Tom Tietenberg

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics is the best-selling text for this course, offering a policy-oriented approach and introducing economic theory in the context of debates and empirical work from the field. Students leave the course with a global perspective of both environmental and natural resource economics.

Tom Tietenberg and his new coauthor, Lynne Lewis (Bates College), emphasize a theme of sustainability in the Ninth Edition and include an all-new chapter on the economics of land allocation and land use conversion. Critical new discussions are incorporated throughout, such as the strategic petroleum reserve, the growth of corn for fuel, and the recent debates over wind power, ecotourism, and aquaculture.


  • International coverage is woven throughout, with significant attention given to environmental problems and policies in Eastern and Western Europe, China, and developing nations.
  • Debate boxes spark discussion about real issues in the field today, including the debates over wind power and ecotourism.
  • Example boxes provide crucial real-world context for economic theory, touching on topics such as hazardous pollutant emissions from iron and steel foundries.
  • Intertemporal optimization is handled within a discrete-time, mathematical programming framework, and all mathematics beyond simple algebra are relegated to appendixes. Graphs and numerical examples are used to provide an intuitive understanding of the principles suggested by the math and the reasons for their validity.
  • Flexible organization allows instructors to fit individual course outlines:
    • A course in natural resource economics might cover Chapters 1 to 14 and 22 to 24. A brief introduction to environmental economics could be added by assigning Chapter 15.
    • A course in environmental economics could cover Chapters 1 to 5 or 15 to 21. Chapter 7 could be added if a brief introduction to natural economics seems desirable.

New to this Edition

  • New coauthor Lynne Lewis of Bates College formally joins the author team after working on previous editions as a contributor and supplements author. Lewis is Chair of the economics department at Bates College, and her current research focuses on valuing the potential benefits from dam removals and river restoration.
  • A new chapter on land use (Chapter 11, Land) covers the economics of land allocation and land use conversion, as well as sources of inefficiency in land markets and both conventional and innovative policy approaches to overcome inefficiencies. Topics include sprawl, using geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze sprawl, valuing environmental amenities, the role of taxes in land use, conservation and community land trusts, and special problems in developing counties.
  • Chapter 14, Generalized Resource Scarcity, is removed from this edition. The key topics of this chapter are streamlined and  included in Chapter 9, now titled Recyclable Resources: Minerals, Paper, Bottles, and E-Waste.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are becoming a key tool in environmental economics research, and coverage appears throughout the text beginning in Chapter 3.
  • New Debate boxes discuss hot issues, including wind power, ecotourism, and aquaculture.
  • New Example boxes cover subjects such as climate change and global warming, the contingent valuation method, the strategic petroleum reserve, and growing corn for fuel.
  • Additional new key topics are incorporated, including:
    • Environmental justice and sustainability
    • Trends in energy intensities in the transition economies
    • Transitioning to renewable energy sources
    • Climate and national security considerations in oil imports
    • Carbon trading and credits
    • E-waste
    • Price volatility in emissions trading markets
  • New coverage of renewable and alternative energy sources is added to Chapter 8, Energy: The Transition from Depletable to Renewable Resources.
  • Data is updated throughout to reflect the most current information possible.
  • End-of-chapter Discussion Questions and Problems are revised, updated, and expanded.
  • Expanded PowerPoint®slidesnow include lecture outlines in addition to all of the text’s tables and figures.
  • Self-assessment chapter quizzes are now available on the Companion Website so students can check their understanding of chapter concepts.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Visions of the Future
Future Environmental Challenges
Meeting the Challenges
How Will Societies Respond?
The Role of Economics
The Road Ahead

Chapter 2. Valuing the Environment: Concepts
The Human Environment Relationship
Normative Criteria for Decision-Making
Finding the Optimal Outcome
Applying the Concepts
Appendix: The Simple Mathematics of Dynamic Efficiency

Chapter 3. Valuing the Environment: Methods
Why Value the Environment?
Valuing Benefits
Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
Impact Analysis

Chapter 4. Property Rights, Externalities, and Environmental Problems
Property Rights
Externalities as a Source of Market Failure
Improperly Designed Property Rights Systems
Public Goods
Imperfect Market Structures
Divergence of Social and Private Discount Rates
Government Failure
The Pursuit of Efficiency
An Efficient Role for Government

Chapter 5. Dynamic Efficiency and Sustainable Development
A Two-Period Model
Defining Intertemporal Fairness
Are Efficient Allocations Fair?
Applying the Sustainability Criterion
Implications for Environmental Policy
Appendix: The Mathematics of the Two-Period Model

Chapter 6. The Population Problem
Historical Perspective
Effects of Population Growth on Economic Development
The Population/Environment Connection
Effects of Economic Development on Population Growth
The Economic Approach to Population Control
A Note on Using GIS to Map Population Data

Chapter 7. The Allocation of Depletable and Renewable Resources: An Overview
A Resource Taxonomy
Efficient Intertemporal Allocations
Market Allocations
Appendix: Extensions of the Basic Depletable Resource Model

Chapter 8. Energy: The Transition from Depletable to Renewable Resources
Natural Gas: Price Controls
Oil: The Cartel Problem
Fossil Fuels: National Security and Climate Considerations
The Other Depletable Sources: Unconventional Oil, Coal and Nuclear
Energy Efficiency
Transitioning to Renewables

Chapter 9. Recyclable Resources: Minerals, Paper, Bottles, and E-Waste
An Efficient Allocation of Recyclable Resources
Factors Mitigating Resource Scarcity
Market Imperfections

Chapter 10. Replenishable but Depletable Resources: Water
The Potential for Water Scarcity
The Efficient Allocation of Scarce Water
The Current Allocation System
Potential Remedies
GIS and Water Resources

Chapter 11. Land
The Economics of Land Allocation
Sources of Inefficient Use and Conversion
Special Problems in Developing Countries
Innovative Market-Based Policy Remedies

Chapter 12. Reproducible Private-Property Resources: Agriculture
Global Scarcity
Formulating the Global Scarcity Hypothesis
Testing the Hypothesis
The Role of Agricultural Policies
A Summing Up
Distribution of Food Resources
Feast and Famine Cycles

Chapter 13. Storable, Renewable Resources: Forests
Characterizing Forest Harvesting Decisions
Sources of Inefficiency
Poverty and Debt
Sustainable Forestry
Public Policy
Appendix: The Harvesting Decision: Forests

Chapter 14. Common-Pool Resources: Fisheries and Other Commercially Valuable Species
Efficient Allocations
Appropriability and Market Solutions
Public Policy Toward Fisheries
Appendix: The Harvesting Decision: Fisheries

Chapter 15. Economics of Pollution Control: An Overview
A Pollutant Taxonomy
Defining the Efficient Allocation of Pollution
Market Allocation of Pollution
Efficient Policy Responses
Cost-Effective Policies for Uniformly Mixed Fund Pollutants
Cost-Effective Policies for Nonuniformly Mixed Surface Pollutants
Other Policy Dimensions
Appendix: The Simple Mathematics of Cost-Effective Pollution Control

Chapter 16. Stationary-Source Local Air Pollution
Conventional Pollutants
Innovative Approaches

Chapter 17. Regional and Global Air Pollutants: Acid Rain and Atmospheric Modification
Regional Pollutants
Global Pollutant

Chapter 18. Mobile-Source Air Pollution
The Economics of Mobile-Source Pollution
Policy Toward Mobile Sources
An Economic and Political Assessment

Chapter 19. Water Pollution
Nature of Water Pollution Problems
Traditional Water Pollution Control Policy
Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness

Chapter 20. Toxic Substances
Market Allocations and Toxic Substances
Current Policy
An Assessment of the Legal Remedies

Chapter 21. Environmental Justice
The Incidence of Hazardous Waste Siting Decisions
The Incidence of Pollution Control Costs: Individual Industries
The Generation of Pollutants
The Incidence on Households
Implications for Policy

Chapter 22. Development, Poverty, and the Environment
The Growth Process
Outlook for the Near Future
The Growth-Development Relationship
Growth and Poverty: The Industrialized Nations
Poverty in the Less Industrialized Nations

Chapter 23. The Quest for Sustainable Development
Sustainability of Development
Managing the Transition

Chapter 24. Visions of the Future Revisited
Addressing the Issues


Tom Tietenberg is the author or editor of eleven books (including Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Ninth Edition), as well as over one hundred articles and essays on environmental and natural resource economics. After receiving his PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1971, Tietenberg was elected President of the Association of Environmental and Natural Resource Economists (AERE) in 1987. He has consulted on environmental policy with the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the Agency for International Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as several state and foreign governments. In 1992, Tietenberg spoke at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has lectured on sustainable development at many other conferences around the world. In 2006, he was designated one of six inaugural AERE Fellows. He is currently the Mitchell Family Economics Professor at Colby College, where his research focuses on the design and evaluation of economic incentive mechanisms for environmental protection and tradable permit systems for pollution control and fisheries management.

Lynne Lewis is Chair of the economics department at Bates College where she teaches microeconomics, environmental economics, natural resource economics, and valuation. Lewis received her PhD in economics from the University of Colorado in 1994 after finishing a two-year dissertation fellowship at the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Her dissertation received the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Dissertation Award in 1995. Currently, she is working on a research grant focused on valuing the potential benefits from dam removals and river restoration. She has also worked extensively on the economics of transboundary water resources, tradable permits for pollution control and the valuation of environmental amenities and disamenities within watersheds and coastal zones. She currently serves on the Board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Penobscot River Science Steering Committee, and the Advisory Board of Mitchell Center for Environment and Watershed Research. She received the Friend of UCOWR award in 2005.

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