The Iron Fist versus The Invisible Hand: Interventionism and Libertarianism in Environmental Economic Discourses

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Forthcoming

NYU Poly Research Paper

33 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2011 Last revised: 17 Jun 2011

See all articles by Philip Maymin

Philip Maymin

Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business; Athletes Unlimited

Tai Wei Lim

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Drawing from a broad range of sources, we define and discuss the two primary ways of contemplating issues related to environmental economics, namely interventionism and libertarianism. We then interpret a cellular automaton as a model that allows for either approach, as well as anarchy, and show that interventionism exponentially reduces the number of possibilities while libertarianism, even when only probabilistically applied, tends to retain rather than destroy the underlying economic complexity. Thus, the libertarian, ex-post, remuneration approach may deserve more than the scant consideration it typically receives in such discourse, while the interventionist, ex-ante, regulation approach may have hidden long-term dangers not previously recognized. More generally, the approach outlined here may prove useful as a mechanism by which various regulatory proposals may be tested and compared.

Keywords: intervention, libertarianism, state, environment, free market, energy, innovation, climate change, efficiency, policy; pollution, welfare, economic, cellular automaton, model

Suggested Citation

Maymin, Philip and Lim, Tai Wei, The Iron Fist versus The Invisible Hand: Interventionism and Libertarianism in Environmental Economic Discourses (2011). World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Forthcoming, NYU Poly Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1858146

Philip Maymin (Contact Author)

Fairfield University - Charles F. Dolan School of Business ( email )

N. Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
United States

Athletes Unlimited ( email )

888 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10106
United States

Tai Wei Lim

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

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