Environmental Economics

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By Agricultural Sector Symposium 1993 (World Bank), Jitendra P. Srivastava, Harold Alderman, World Bank

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Extra resources for Agriculture and environmental challenges: proceedings of the Thirteenth Agricultural Sector Symposium

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The author is Vice President, Environmentally Sustainable Development, The World Bank. Page 6 · While most of us readily accept the idea that economic behavior both affects and is affected by changing technologies, time horizons, and values, tastes, and preferences (including those regarding family size), mainstream neoclassical economics continues to treat these as exogenous variables. 5 So, where do we start? Perhaps the most obvious point is the concept of capital, and the need to sustain the capital base of humanity, including · Manmade capital, both physical and immaterial (such as information) · Natural capital, with proper valuation of the environmental services that natural resources provide (not just as inputs into productive processes) · Social capital, not only in the conventional terms of investing in people but also in terms of the institutional and cultural framework that makes civilized transactions possible.

The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the author(s) and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations, or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. The material in this publication is copyrighted. Requests for permission to reproduce portions of it should be sent to Director, Office of the Publisher, at the address shown in the copyright notice above. The World Bank encourages dissemination of its work and will normally give permission promptly and, when the reproduction is for noncommercial purposes, without asking a fee.

It will also require much greater attention to the quality of a country's entire expenditure for agricultural and natural resource development and for food assistance to the poor. It is not sufficient to focus only on the expenditures directly associated with Bank-assisted projects. One implication of such an approach is a far greater need for donor coordination. Another implication is that the policies advocated for agriculture must be compatible withand indeed part ofnational policies aimed at creating an enabling environment to empower the poor, spur investments, and promote private sector development.

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