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Economic Calculation in the Environmentalist Commonwealth

Art Carden

Brock School of Business, Samford University

April 20, 2009

Do environmental initiatives like carbon accounting provide a viable alternative to monetary calculation based on profit and loss? Economic insights about calculation and imputation suggest that they do not provide a reliable, rational guide to action. Non-monetary calculation of the environmental effects of action runs into the same problems of in natura calculation and commonly-owned means of production. The information needed for rational economizing does not exist when we forsake the price mechanism. A legal regime based on strict private property rights solves environmental problems. Relaxed restrictions on property rights can generate environmental benefits and reduce our contribution to environmental degradation. Examples include the elimination of restrictions on housing markets and privatization of municipal recycling and garbage collection.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: Environmental Economics, Calculation, Sustainable Development, Recycling, Price Mechanism, Private Property

JEL Classification: A10, B53, D02, D46, D49, D62, D63, D74, D83, H23, K23, N5, O13, P28, Q5

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Date posted: May 14, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Carden, Art, Economic Calculation in the Environmentalist Commonwealth (April 20, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1392412 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1392412

Contact Information

Art Carden (Contact Author)
Brock School of Business, Samford University ( email )
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.artcarden.com
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References:  23