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There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Monday, 13 June 2011 13:41

Version 40.0 of a classic on environmental policy

 

TANSTAAFL_cvr_160_HI give this book a very firm FIVE STARS.

Anyone interested in the environment (science, policy, economics, life) should read it -- and then go out and tell some emperors that they are naked!

David Zetland 
Senior water economist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

When TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) was published in 1971, it was one of the first surveys of environmental policy to be written from a libertarian perspective. It sold many thousands of copies, and, over time, achieved the status of a classic.

 

40 years later, this new edition includes the full original text, long out of print, along with a new introduction and commentaries by the author,covering topics ranging from climate change, to globalization, to ecosocialism. The new material examines both successes and failures of environmental policy over the past four decades, and explains why it is so hard to get policies right. The central theme of the book remains the TANSTAAFL principle: The polluter must pay. market mechanisms, prices, and protection of property offer a surer path to a cleaner and more sustainable future than either bureaucratic controls or moral suasion unsupported by economic incentives.





Published September 2011

ISBN 978-1-907720-26-0

242 pages

To download the Contents in PDF format, click here

For the FREE Introduction, click here


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Contents

Introduction
The TANSTAAFL principle
What you will find in this book
A note on style

Chapter 1
WHAT ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS IS ALL ABOUT
An Awareness of Threat
The Spaceship Earth
Ideology, Ecology, and the TANSTAAFL Principle

Chapter 1 Commentary
What has changed
The cost-benefit approach to environmental economics
What has not changed
The critique of productivism

Chapter 2
PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS IN ONE EASY LESSON
Marginalism and the Law of Supply and Demand
Efficiency and the Equimarginal Principle
The Invisible Hand

Chapter 2 Commentary
What has changed
What has not changed

Chapter 3
POLLUTION AND THE PRICE SYSTEM
The Invisible Hand Slips Up
How to Make Pollution Go Away

Chapter 3 Commentary
What has changed
Climate change moves to center stage
Experience with pay-for-pollution
What has not changed
Opposition from the right
Opposition from the left

Chapter 4
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF ECOLOGICAL ACTION
The Efficiency Paradox
Who Should Pay for the Cleanup?
Some Problems of Organizing Collective Action
Democracy and Collective Economic Action

Chapter 4 Commentary
What has changed
What has not changed

Chapter 5
COPING WITH THE POPULATION EXPLOSION
What Are We in For?
The Not-So-Simple Arithmetic of Population Growth
Is There an Optimal Population Size?

Chapter 5 Commentary
What has changed
What has not changed

Chapter 6
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Are We Exploiting the Third World?
Population, Loaves, and Fishes

Chapter 6 Commentary
What has changed
What has not changed

Chapter 7
PRESERVING THE WILDERNESS – PUBLIC INTEREST OR SPECIAL INTEREST?
On Good Economics and Good Government
Conservation and the Public Interest
A Positive Program for Preserving the Wilderness

Chapter 7 Commentary
What has changed
What has not changed

Chapter 8
TOWARD AN ECOLOGICALLY VIABLE ECONOMY

Chapter 8 Commentary
Choice and responsibility
The bottom line

Appendix
SCIENCE, PUBLIC POLICY, AND GLOBAL WARMING: RETHINKING THE MARKET-LIBERAL POSITION
Hayek on Liberalism, Conservatism, and Science
Climate Change and Property Rights: A Lockean Perspective
Applying the Lockean Framework
The Significance of Scientific Uncertainty
Conclusion

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Table 4.1: Hypothetical cost schedule for fume reduction
Figure 1.1: The throughput economy
Figure 1.2: The spaceship earth
Figure 3.1: Map
Figure 5.1: Hypothetical population growth curves
Figure 6.1: The demographic transition
Figure 7.1: Hypothetical distribution of the population with respect to their interest in wilderness preservation
Figure 7.2: Best land use over time
Figure 8.1: Detailed view of the spaceship earth

 

Reviews

"A model of clear thinking and fun writing. Enjoy!" Professor Bryan Caplan, George Mason University
 

 

Author

 

Professor Edwin G. Dolan

Edwin G. Dolan is an economist and educator with a Ph.D. from Yale University. Early in his career, he was a member of the economics faculty at Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and George Mason University. From 1990 to 2001, he taught in Moscow, Russia, where he and his wife founded the American Institute of Business and Economics (AIBEc), an independent, not-for-profit MBA program. Since 2001, he has taught at several universities in Europe, including Central European University in Budapest, the University of Economics in Prague, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, where he has an ongoing annual visiting appointment. During a break in his teaching career, he worked in Washington, D.C. as an economist for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and as a regulatory analyst for the Interstate Commerce Commission. There, he contributed to a successful drive for deregulation of  trucking and railroads, which reduced highway congestion and saved millions of gallons of fuel annually. When not lecturing abroad, he makes his home in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

 

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