Research Trends and Opportunities in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

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Abstract

The research questions and topics most likely to emerge in the near term future are assessed. A common theme is that policy issues will be an important driving force, as has generally been true in the past. More specifically, future theoretical advances are expected to occur in the treatment of uncertainty, the incorporation of stock service flows into natural resource analysis, and the incorporation of institutional considerations into models of resource exploitation. Research on valuation is expected to remain vigorous, primarily in the testing of basic assumptions and reconciliation of existing inconsistencies. Opportunities in renewable resource economics center on the incorporation of richer behavioral and technological detail in the general frameworks that already exist. A better understanding of what drives technology, and how environmental agreements can be negotiated and enforced among sovereign nations, are two topics likely to shape future research on global externalities. Finally, questions related to spatial aspects of natural resource use, and matters of land use more generally, seem likely to emerge as important topics on the profession's future research agenda.

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