Economics and Enviromental Resources: Review

  •  Enwere Dike    
  •  Ngozi I. Dike    


We review the component elements of environmental resources in order to provide insights into their economic characteristics and properties. Environmental resources are the goods and services provided by the natural environment and are constituted into three categories: atmosphere; water; and land and soil. The economic literature emphasizes two points in regard to the economic characteristics of environmental resources. First, many environmental goods are renewable resources and have features of public goods-accessible to all in the community at no charge, so that excluding unwanted users is difficult, which lends them to over-exploitation to the point of extinction in many instances. Second, environmental resources constitute a kind of capital and so makes measurable contribution to output similar to the role played by physical and human capital, and so should be accounted for, invested in, and exploited efficiently.

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