Skip to content

About PERC

All Areas of Focus

All Research

Environmental Markets: A Property Rights Approach

  • Terry Anderson,
  • Gary Libecap
  • Environmental Markets explains the prospects of using markets to improve environmental quality and resource conservation. No other book focuses on a property rights approach using environmental markets to solve environmental problems. This book compares standard approaches to these problems using governmental management, regulation, taxation, and subsidization with a market-based property rights approach. This approach is applied to land, water, wildlife, fisheries, and air and is compared to governmental solutions. The book concludes by discussing tougher environmental problems such as ocean fisheries and the global atmosphere, emphasizing that neither governmental nor market solutions are a panacea.
    Environmental Markets is the inaugural book in Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society, a new interdisciplinary series of theoretical and empirical research focusing on individual choice, institutions, and social outcomes, edited by Peter J. Boettke and Timur Kuran.
    Buy now at Cambridge University Press.

    Two of the world’s leading scholars on property rights and the environment offer a timely reminder that government is not always an effective steward of natural resources when markets fail at this task, and offer a rich review of the myriad creative ways in which market forces can be harnessed to improve environmental quality. The book’’s fresh perspective on the question of how best to solve problems ranging from climate change to overfishing reminds economists and their students to “look before they leap”, with regulation as a solution.

    — Sheila M. Olmstead
    University of Texas, Austin

    Two of the economics profession’s leading lights logically demolish the fallacy that only government action can protect the environment. In its place, they build a rock-solid, readily understandable case for a property-rights–market-based alternative approach. Their wealth of experience shines through in the case-study evidence used to reinforce their arguments.

    — Jeff Bennett
    Australian National University

    Environmental Markets reminds us to identify the root causes of environmental problems before prescribing solutions. Often it is not failing markets but missing markets that are the problem. The authors’ numerous examples are compelling. This book will serve as a guidepost for economists and other analysts proposing policy solutions to the difficult environmental problems we face today.

    — Margaret Walls
    Research Director and Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

    Written By
    • Terry Anderson

      Terry L. Anderson is the former president and executive director of PERC, and the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

    • Gary Libecap
      • Senior Fellow
    Related Content