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The Economics of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: A Casualty of Leasing Law or Candidate for Privatization

Energy & Environment, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2007

13 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2011  

Walter E. Block

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business

Emily Schaeffer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 21, 2011

Abstract

Should the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) be used to drill for oil, or should this type of economic development be forbidden, in favor of protecting environmental amenities? In economics, this is a classical question of the allocation of resources, and we propose to answer it in a similar manner in this case, even though such reasoning is not typical of debates in this field. We answer the ANWR challenge with arguments favoring solutions emerging from private property arrangements, and provide an illustrative example of markets at work. We take neither side, but urge that the free enterprise system be allowed to address the issue. It is our claim that this is a superior system, as entrepreneurs who make mistakes suffer economic penalties, and this feedback mechanism is either entirely missing in political and bureaucratic institutions, or at the very least greatly attenuated there.

Suggested Citation

Block, Walter E. and Schaeffer, Emily, The Economics of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: A Casualty of Leasing Law or Candidate for Privatization (July 21, 2011). Energy & Environment, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1892354

Walter E. Block (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans - Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business ( email )

6363 St. Charles Avenue
Box 15, Miller 321
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
(504) 864-7944 (Phone)
(504) 864-7970 (Fax)

Emily Schaeffer

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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