Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia. Edited by Timothy C. Haab and John C. Whitehead. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2015. 372 pages. Acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-1-4408-0119-8). E-book available (978-1-4408-0120-4), call for pricing.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics is a single volume, general reference encyclopedia that presents information on more than 140 topics relevant to understanding environmental and natural resource economics. Key concepts, historical events and movements, and biographies are included. Each entry is signed, provides see also references and brief lists of resources for further reading. The volume begins with an alphabetical listing of entries and a useful “Guide to Related Topics” that chunks related entries together under the categories of “General Topics,” “Environmental Economics,” “Resource Economics,” and “Applied Welfare Economics.” An introductory essay sets the context for information presented in the entries, and a comprehensive index is provided at the end. The editors accurately claim that their work is written in an objective and accessible manner suitable for advanced high school students, undergraduates, nonspecialist researchers, policy makers, and general readers.

Although Jason Shogren’s Encyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resources, and Environmental Economics (Elsevier, 2013) covers similar issues in a three volume set comprised of 128 articles, it is substantially more expensive and geared for analysts in business, government, and academics rather than general readers. Related but older, volume 2 of the three volume Encyclopedia of Sustainability (Robin M. Collin & Robert W. Collin, Greenwood, 2010) addresses business and economics from a sustainability perspective at a very general, high school/undergraduate level. Haab and Whitehead’s encyclopedia would be a current, complimentary item for a collection that already contains Collin and Collin’s work.

The Environmental and Natural Resource Economics encyclopedia is succinct, yet covers a wide range of current topics as well as influential people, organizations, and events relevant to the economics of environmental and natural resources. Entries address the topic from an economic perspective. “Environmentalism,” for example, is described within the context of the relationship between the environmental movement and economics. Similarly, the “Coastal Resources” entry addresses issues and challenges of sustainable management and ecosystem services related to coastal zones rather than simply enumerating a variety of resources.

Appreciating the complex relationships between economics, the environment, and natural resource use and management is especially important as these resources become scarcer. As the editors remark in their preface to the volume, economies depend “on environmental and natural resources, [and] natural resource problems cannot be solved separate from the economy” (xiii). This volume provides concepts, context, and background for understanding this multifaceted relationship between economics and natural resources. Haab and Whitehead’s encyclopedia is highly recommended for high school, public, and academic collections.—Aimée deChambeau, Head of Electronic Services, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio


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