Market Versus Political Allocations of Natural Resources in the 1980s


Public land, Land resources, Divestiture, Property rights, Agricultural economics, Agricultural resources, Transaction costs, Allocative efficiency, Forest resources


The extinction of any desire on the part of mankind, however vicious and destructive, the abolition of any estab- lished practice, however vile, will throw a certain number of men 'out of work' .... If all the world turned sober, it would indefinitely increase its well- being, but countless publicans, brewers, distillers, and hop and vine growers would be thrown out of employment. If universal peace were secured, and ar- maments were reduced to the vanishing point, there would be many an Othello to mourn that his occupation was gone. If a really successful unpuncturable tyre were put on the market, there would be a great increase in collective happiness, clerical and other appointments would be kept with notably increased regular- ity, profanity at least in cultivated so- ciety, would tend to be more clearly re- stricted to its natural preserves on the golf links, but there would be a proces- sion of unemployed assistants of bicycle repairers .... If the sanitary habits of the public suddenly improved, there would be a slump in the business of the undertaker, and if no one committed murder, the hangman would be out of a job. (Philip L. Wickstee

Original Publication Citation

*"Market Versus Political Allocations of Natural Resources in the 1980's." Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 8, No. 2, December 1983, pp. 215-229.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Western Journal of Agricultural Economics



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor