Friday, June 20, 2008
Carol M. Rose (Arizona) has posted Big Roads, Big Rights: Varieties of Public Infrastructure and Their Impact on Environmental Resources on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Two types of public infrastructure-roads and property rights-are often thought critical to economic development; this article compares their impacts on the natural environment. Both roads and property rights draw unfamiliar persons to remote areas, undermine existing informal resource practices, and enhance wide commercial trade, creating wealth but also reducing local resource diversity. New kinds of property rights hold much promise for environmental protection, but unlike roads and conventional property rights, environmental property rights would be tasked with curtailing commerce, as in roadless areas and caps on resource use. This sharp divergence from the traditional commercial mission of public infrastructure can limit support for environmental property rights, creating an opening for fuzzier and more consultative versions of environmental property.
[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]