Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 50: Liberty, Markets and Environmental Values: A Hayekian Defence of Free Market Environmentalism

Mark Pennington ()
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Mark Pennington: Department of Politics, Postal: Queen Mary College, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, England

Abstract: Communitarian conceptions of the 'situated self' lie at the core of 'green' critiques of market approaches to environmental problems. According to this perspective resource management issues should be dealt with in the 'public sphere' of democratic politics rather than the 'private sphere' of market drien consumer choice. This paper suggests that such arguments rest on a series of non-sequiturs. Drawing on Hayek's non-rationalist liberalism it shows that a 'situated' view of the self offers a radical endorsement of the case for privatisating environmental assets, wherever it is possible to do so.

Keywords: free market environmentalism; property rights; deliberative democracy

JEL-codes: A13; B53; Q01

24 pages, May 25, 2004

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