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Barbier to Examine Natural Resource Exploitation in UW Fall Faculty Senate Speaker Series Talk

November 4, 2013

Contributions that natural resource exploitation has made to economic development in key eras of world history will be the focus of the University of Wyoming fall Faculty Senate Speaker Series talk at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in Room 129 of the Classroom Building.

Edward Barbier, the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics and Finance in the UW College of Business, will be the speaker. He will discuss “Scarcity and Frontiers: How Economies Have Developed through Natural Resource Exploitation,” based on his 2011 Cambridge University Press book of the same title.

“Throughout much of history, a critical driving force behind global economic development has been the response of society to the scarcity of key natural resources, such as land, forests, fish, fossil fuels and minerals,” Barbier says. “Increasing scarcity raises the cost of exploiting existing natural resources and creates incentives in all economies to innovate and conserve.”

However, he says economies also have responded to increasing scarcity by obtaining and developing more abundant sources of natural resources. Since the agricultural transition more than 12,000 years ago, this exploitation of new “frontiers” has often proved to be a pivotal human response to natural resource scarcity.

“I will show how we can draw lessons from these past epochs for the role of natural resources in global development today,” he says.

Widely published in natural resource and development economics as well as the interface between economics and ecology, Barbier has served as a consultant and policy analyst for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many United Nations organizations and the World Bank. He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 21 books, and published in popular journals.

Ed Barbier will give the fall Faculty Senate Speaker Series talk at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in Room 129 of the UW Classroom Building. (UW Photo)

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