Lynne Kiesling How cool is this? Tim at Environmental Economics points us to an upcoming Sotheby’s auction of saplings from a tree thought to be extinct. This is a nice example of a field experiment in something that is awfully difficult to do: determining aggregate willingness to pay to avoid extinction. In my environmental economics … More WILLINGNESS TO PAY TO AVOID EXTINCTIONMore WILLINGNESS TO PAY TO AVOID EXTINCTION

Catch shares and sustainable fishing

Lynne Kiesling Yesterday was Earth Day, and here’s a good way to observe it: Andrew Langer and Iain Murray argue for catch shares as a sustainable free-market fisheries policy. The idea is simple: give fishermen an ownership stake in a particular fishery through the assignment of quotas, which can be traded. The quotas give individual … More Catch shares and sustainable fishing

The Matt Ridley Prize for Environmental Heresy

Michael Giberson The Spectator magazine in the U.K. announces the Matt Ridley Prize for Environmental Heresy: Matt Ridley has long deplored the wind farm delusion, and was appalled when a family trust was paid by a wind farm company in compensation for mineral rights on land on which it wanted to build a turbine. The … More The Matt Ridley Prize for Environmental Heresy

Overfishing conference at PERC

Lynne Kiesling Jonathan Adler reports from a PERC workshop on fisheries management and how property rights institutions can reduce pervasive overfishing problems in fishing. Overfishing is a serious environmental and economic problem, and Jon provides excellent links to the body of research showing that property rights institutions, such as tradeable catch shares, can reduce overfishing … More Overfishing conference at PERC

Overfishing and the impending collapse of fisheries

Lynne Kiesling Why is it so difficult, in terms of politics and transaction costs, to define and enforce property rights in fish? If we fail to do so, some important fish species are likely to go extinct due to overfishing, such as the bluefin tuna. Migratory fish like the bluefin pose the biggest policy challenges, … More Overfishing and the impending collapse of fisheries

“The central station and the isolated plant”

Michael Giberson H. S. Knowlton said, “In the establishment of many kinds of modern business the question of cheap power is one of fundamental importance, and in not a few cases the industrial manager finds it a most difficult problem to decide between installing an isolated plant and contracting for central station service.” That’s from … More “The central station and the isolated plant”

Endangered species for sale, for their own good and ours

Lynne Kiesling At Aguanomics, David Zetland takes on a topic that I find greatly interesting and important — using private property rights to conserve endangered species, reduce poaching, and enable indigenous communities who live around such animals to thrive without species extinction as a consequence. In fact, one of my first-ever posts back in 2002 … More Endangered species for sale, for their own good and ours

Animal conservation through prices

Lynne Kiesling The fundamental cause of most environmental problems — whether air pollution, climate change, or species extinction, for example — is ill-defined property rights. Ill-define property rights lead to inefficient resource use decisions, resource overuse, and accelerated resource use. The effect of human action on the rate and pattern of species extinction is an … More Animal conservation through prices

Barun Mitra: Sell the Tiger to Save It

Lynne Kiesling I heartily recommend Barun Mitra’s op-ed column in today’s New York Times on the importance of property rights in the conservation of the tiger: Yet for the last 30 or so years, the tiger has been priced at zero, while millions of dollars have been spent to protect it and prohibit trade that … More Barun Mitra: Sell the Tiger to Save ItMore Barun Mitra: Sell the Tiger to Save It


Lynne Kiesling Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a great example of private initiative and willingness to “walk the talk” in private “internalization” of environmental “externalities” (for background on why I am putting these things in quotes, see this post on the Energy Star certification and irrelevant externalities, this post on network reliability as a public good, … More HAWK MOUNTAIN SANCTUARYMore HAWK MOUNTAIN SANCTUARY