Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A Review of the Economics of Biological Natural Resources

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Benedict White


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


The economics of renewable biological resources originated in the 1950s in fishery economics. The original models were static and linked simple population growth models to harvesting. In the 1970s the subject became more concerned with dynamic models and the stability of resource systems and this development continued in the 1980s. Now renewable resource economics is seen as a branch of capital theory which is distinct from mainstream capital theory because it must simultaneously represent the productivity of an ecosystem as well as the production functions of the firms which exploit it. Adding to this complex patterns of ownership over the resource itself and the dependence of production on the state of the ecosystem makes for a set of problems which economists have only started to address. Progress in renewable resource economics will come through closer collaboration with ecologists to give more realistic population models; the development of approaches for multi-species ecosystems; and the use of modelling techniques and policies which can adapt as more information becomes available on the status of a resource. In the future renewable resource economics will continue to contribute to the sustainability debate by providing a clearer analysis of the trade-off between ecosystem stability and the level of economic exploitation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): White B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

Year: 2000

Volume: 51

Issue: 3

Pages: 419-462

Print publication date: 01/01/2000

ISSN (print): 0021-857X

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9552


DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2000.tb01240.x