If Invasive Species are “Pollutants”, Should Polluters Pay?
This chapter explores the issue of whether policies toward invasive species should look like those adopted in response to other forms of ‘pollution’. It argues that this will depend on whether damages are low enough that preventing invasions should be seen as a ‘lost cause’ and abandoned, or if damages are high enough that prevention is a wise investment and significant resources should be put into preventing invasions. A simple model is developed that lays out these considerations. It is also shown that fixing parameters describing the demand for imports, their cost, and the cost of treating imports to reduce the likelihood of invasion allows the definition of the optimal strategy by reference to the anticipated damages resulting from invasion.
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