Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Can You Say Externality?

Further proof that economics is everywhere...an article in today's WSJ (available for 7 days) entitled "Prosperity's Pitfall: Why Indian Lions Are Dying in Wells" explains that:

"India's Asiatic lions, an important tourist draw and a powerful symbol of the nation, keep falling into open wells as more lions and more farmers compete for the same small patch of land."

Now, as one who likes lions, I find this to be a bit sad. As an economist, I see the lions as a positive externality that should be internalized. I find it interesting that even a Wall Street Journal article doesn't use this terminology and stays at the level of "dead lions are bad, since lions are valuable" without speaking to any potential policy implications.

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