Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy
Martin L. Weitzman
The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000, vol. 115, issue 1, pages 237-263
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. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.catchword.com/cgi-bin/cgi?ini=bc&body=l ... 000201)115:1L.237;1- (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
Working Paper: Economic Profitability Versus Ecological Entropy (2000)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:1:p:237-263
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://mitpress.mit. ... me.tcl?issn=00335533
Access Statistics for this article
The Quarterly Journal of Economics is edited by Robert J. Barro, Edward L. Glaeser and Lawrence F. Katz
More articles in The Quarterly Journal of Economics from MIT Press
Series data maintained by Karie Kirkpatrick ().