Publications by Year: 1990

Stavins, Robert N. The Welfare Economics of Alternative Renewable Resource Strategies: Forested Wetlands and Agricultural Production. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1990.
Stavins, Robert N. “Alternative Renewable Resource Strategies: A Simulation of Optimal Use.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 19 (1990): 143–159. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The depletion of forested wetlands is a pressing environmental concern, but has wetland depletion and conversion to agricultural cropland been excessive? A dynamic analysis of resource exploitation in the presence of environmental consequences is required. The structure and parameters of a model of socially optimal wetland use are found to bear a well-defined relationship to those which emerge from a private-market model of wetland exploitation, providing a basis for internalizing environmental externalities and for identifying optimal resource-exploitation strategies. Empirical analysis focuses on the area of severest wetland losses in the United States, the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain.



Stavins, Robert N. “Environmental Accounting: Greening the Profit Motive.” The World Paper (1990): 1. world_paper_september_1990.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Innovative Policies for Sustainable Development: The Role of Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection.” Harvard Public Policy Review 7 (1990): 13–25. innovative_policies.pdf


Stavins, Robert N, and Adam B Jaffe. “Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands.” The American Economic Review 80 (1990): 337–352. Publisher's VersionAbstract

By affecting relative economic returns, public infrastructure investments can induce major changes in private land use. We find that 30 percent of forested wetland depletion in the Mississippi Valley has resulted from private decisions induced by federal flood-control projects, despite explicit federal policy to preserve wetlands. Our model aggregates individual land-use decisions using a parametric distribution of unobserved land quality; dynamic simulations are used to quantify the impacts on wetlands of federal projects and other factors.