You Have to Admit It's Getting Better

You Have to Admit It's Getting Better

From Economic Prosperity to Environmental Quality

Editor: Terry L. Anderson
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4482-7
Publication Date: 5/19/2004
Pages: 300

To the doomsayers who maintain that natural resources are being depleted and the environment is getting worse, Terry Anderson and his fellow contributors offer a bold retort: it's getting better all the time. They present a powerful argument that, through such established institutions as property rights, the rules of law, and limited government, economic growth and environmental quality will both flourish.

You Have to Admit It's Getting Better shows how, by focusing our energies on developing and protecting the institutions of freedom, rather than on regulating human use of natural resources through political processes, we can in fact have our environmental cake and eat it, too. The book offers a number of often-surprising revelations that debunk many commonly held beliefs about the future of our environment. It shows, for example, how liberalization of international trade is more likely to improve environmental quality than reduce it. It also explains how the prosperity and improved human well-being that we enjoy today are not leaving future generations worse off, but leaving them with more capital and larger stocks of natural resources. Throughout the book, the authors repeatedly show that economic growth is not the antithesis of environmental quality: rather, the two go hand in hand if the incentives are right.


You Have to Admit It's Getting Better, by Terry L. Anderson, ed.
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Terry L. Anderson

Terry Anderson, the John and Jean DeNault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the executive director of PERC - the Property and Environment Research Center, a think tank focusing on market solutions to environmental problems located in Bozeman, Montana, and professor emeritus at Montana State University.


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Tables and Figures









Introduction: Property Rights and
Sustainable Development    Terry L. Anderson



The Skeptical Environmentalist    Bjørn Lomborg



Economic Growth, Technological Change,
and Human Well-Being    Indur M. Goklany



Income and the Race to the Top    Bruce Yandle,
Maya Vijayaraghavan, Madhusudan Bhattarai



Globalization, Free Trade, and
Environmental Quality    B. Delworth Gardner



Population Growth, Economic Freedom,
and the Rule of Law    Seth W. Norton
     APPENDIX    170



The Relation Between Net Carbon Emissions
and Income    Robert E. McCormick





The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, founded at Stanford University in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, who went on to become the thirty-first president of the United States, is an interdisciplinary research center for advanced study on domestic and international affairs. The views expressed in its publications are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution.

Hoover Institution Press Publication No. 525

Copyright © 2004 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

First printing 2004

10 09 08 07 06 05 04 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Manufactured in the United States of America

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
You have to admit it’s getting better : from economic prosperity to
environmental quality / edited by Terry L. Anderson.
p. cm. — (Hoover Institution Press publication ; no. 525)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8179-4482-6 (alk. paper)
1. Sustainable development. 2. Economic policy. 3. Free
enterprise. 4. Right of property. 5. Population—Economic aspects.
I. Anderson, Terry Lee, 1946– II. Series.

HD75.6.Y677 2004

338.9.27—dc22 2004003189


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