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The Economics of Extinction Revisited and Revised: A Generalised Framework for the Analysis of the Problems of Endangered Species and Biodiversity Losses

Timothy M. Swanson
Oxford Economic Papers
New Series, Vol. 46, Special Issue on Environmental Economics (Oct., 1994), pp. 800-821
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2663500
Page Count: 22
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The Economics of Extinction Revisited and Revised: A Generalised Framework for the Analysis of the Problems of Endangered Species and Biodiversity Losses
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Abstract

Several environmental problems linked to extinction (resource mining, biodiversity depletion, and over-exploitation) derive from the same fundamental source: the conversion between assets within the development process. The state selecting its optimal portfolio of assets will consider the relative value and growth rates of assets. High-value/high-growth resources will be selected; resources with either low values or low growth rates will be channelled down one of the above routes towards extinction. Extinction policies must be based upon the more fundamental explanations of the problem, rather than the proximate causes. This implies the creation of alternative paths to development.

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