David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Critical Review 6 (2-3):153-170 (1992)
Is it possible to reconcile a classical liberal approach to economics with a concern for the environment? The contributors to Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation contend that it is. But they fail to distinguish properly between classical liberalism and a widespread orthodoxy in environmental policy communities in Europe and North America to the effect that economic instruments for environmental policy need more serious attention than they have hitherto received. Once this orthodoxy is distinguished from classical liberalism, the latter is seen to be implausible. In particular, the classical liberal approach fails to deal with the practical and administrative problems involved in enforcing private property rights solutions to problems of environmental protection, wrongly generalizes from the failures of U.S. environmental policy to the failure of public regulation as such, and fails to take into account the claim that nature should be accorded intrinsic value
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