The Economics of the Environment by Peter Berck and Gloria Helfand

Nonfiction — print. Pearson, 2010. 508 pgs. Purchased.

This book was the textbook for my Environment and Natural Resource Economics class and was actually written by my professor’s dissertation adviser (Berck) back when she was a student at Berkeley. So you can see why the book was selected as out textbook for the semester.

Berck and Helfand’s book is one of the better economics textbooks I’ve used, especially because the book approaches each aspect of environmental economics with a detailed example. Everything they present is accessible and easy to understand provided you have the understanding of basic economic theory.

Towards the end of the book things became a little bit repetitive, which could have been helped by rearranging the chapters. For example, the final chapter discusses ‘sustainable development’ and how GDP/GNP does not properly capture natural resource degradation. However, it’s been about fifteen chapters since GDP/GNP was discussed, and the chapter seems out of place.

I would have also liked to see a better layout when solving mathematical problems. It’s impossible for me to see how a math problem is solved in paragraph form; I need for it to be written out step by step vertically. I just learned better this way, and this book did not  help me in that way.

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