chapter  1
16 Pages

Introduction: Toward a Materials Policy

FoR MANY YEARS there have been two approaches to the formulation of materials policy, one associated with the traditional thinking of resource economists and the other with that of conservationists. An important purpose of this book is to develop a unifying conceptual structure to join together these two approaches. In carrying out this purpose, the book is divided into three principal parts. Part One discusses material flows, and some of their determinants, as they enter and exit from the economy. Part Two considers three short-term failures of markets to efficiently balance material uses. And Part Three, from a long-term perspective, develops efficiency and conservation criteria as a foundation of materials policy.