Dictionary of Arguments

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Mause I 408f
Environmental Goods/Preferences/Economic Theories: There are individual environmental areas in which the long-term effects of environmental impairments are not always fully assessed individually (e.g. preservation of mountain forests due to avalanche danger) and therefore an at least partial correction of individual preferences through so-called meritorial interventions by the state (e.g. prohibition of deforestation of "protective forests") is necessary (Zimmermann et al. 2012, p. 498) (1). For the vast majority of environmental goods, however, it can be assumed in principle that corresponding environmental protection preferences exist in society without, however, sufficient quantities and quality of these goods being offered via the market.
Mause I 409
Environmental goods have the typical characteristics of public goods (see Public Goods)
a) Non-rivalry in consumption: consumption by one citizen does not diminish that of another. Example air.
This means that no market prices arise here.
b) The exclusion principle cannot be applied: nobody can be excluded from the use by assignment of exclusive property rights. This means that a private supplier could not achieve cost-covering prices with these goods.
Conclusion: Clean environment cannot be sold via a market.
Common goods/Common: these are goods for which rival consumption may occur.
Although there is no market here either, the lack of ownership rights means that there is no incentive to treat the environmental goods concerned with care. Example Overfishing (2). See Prisoner's Dielmma/Ostrom.


1. Horst Zimmermann, Horst, Klaus-Dirk Henke, und Michael Broer, Finanzwissenschaft. Eine Einführung in die Lehre von der öffentlichen Finanzwirtschaft, 11. ed. München 2012.
2. Elinor Ostrom, Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge 1990.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Economic Theories
Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-03-18
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