Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy

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Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy

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Title: Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy
Author: Weitzman, Martin L.
Citation: Weitzman, Martin L. 2000. Economic profitability versus ecological entropy. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115(1): 237-263.
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Abstract: There is a long-standing trade-off in bioculture between concentrating on high-yield varieties and maintaining sufficient diversity to lower the risks of catastrophic infection. The paper uses a simple ecology-based model of endogenous disease to indicate how a local decision to plant more of a widely grown crop creates negative externalities by increasing the probability that new pathogens will evolve to attack the crop globally. Society's basic issue concerns where to locate on an efficiency frontier between economic profitability and a standard formula for ecological entropy—proved here to be a rigorous measure of “generalized resistance” to crop-ecosystem failure.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/003355300554728
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3693703

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6948]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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