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The Political Economy of Environmental Justice$
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H. Spencer Banzhaf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804780612

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804780612.001.0001

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Who Owns the Environment?

(p.267) Postscript
The Political Economy of Environmental Justice

Terry L. Anderson

Stanford University Press

This chapter argues that all environmental issues boil down to property rights issues. Due to scarcity, people compete for the use of resources—land, water, and air—and, in the process, create opportunity costs for those resources. Environmental justice is no different. The discussion suggests that the property rights lens provides a positive framework for analyzing the distributional and efficiency implications of different property rights assignments. This chapter analyzes four property right questions in relation to environmental justice: landowner rights, renter rights, market adjustments, and resource allocation.

Keywords:   property rights, scarcity, opportunity costs, environmental justice, renter rights, landowner rights

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