Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Environmental managment without environmental valuation?

Spash, Clive L. (1996): Environmental managment without environmental valuation?


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There is a rising tendency for environmental economics to be viewed as exclusively concerned with valuing everything in monetary terms and there are certainly some among its ranks whose own self-interest leads them to preach that line in public. However, acceptance of the many valid criticisms of monetary valuation and our limited understanding of environmental systems makes this extreme untenable as all economists will admit (if some only in private) and which ecological-economics recognises as a central issue. Yet the danger in characterising the preoccupation of economists with monetary valuation as in some sense wrong assumes this is something which can be excluded from resource allocation decisions. The critics of monetary valuation also tend to believe in an unspecified alternative approach which is often associated with scientifically defined limits and cost-effectiveness. The problem explored in this paper is the extent to which a concern for costs and benefits can be excluded from environmental management and if, as argued, a role for valuation is required how can the critics concerns be taken into account in defining that role.

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