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Economic Research Institute Study paper


Utah State University

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An increasing awareness of environmental pollution and its relative impact on mankind have elicited normative and positive economic models that address particular trade-offs between material objects and the maintenance of the environment. The existing literature has primarily been concerned with identifying the optimal amount of socially desirable pollution. However, the issue of natural respurce scarcity, when viewed in conjunction with the availability of environmental resources or related amenities, seems to have attracted only minimal attention thus far. Leading natural resource economists like V. K. Smith (1981), John V. Krutilla and Anthony C. Fisher (1975), and Anthony C. Fisher (1979) have occasionally pointed out that research efforts need to be directed toward the question of jointness between an extractible and an environmental resource in a theoretical and empirical evaluation of natural resource scarcity.