chapter  10
Trade and the Environment
Pages 22

Depletion and Technology Change Growth based on comparative advantage will inevitably mean a shift from a relatively all-round to a more specialized economy. Such development of specialized economic activities need not lead to a loss of sustainability. In fact, specialized commercialization may actually promote sustainability. Take the case of fuel wood. Where fuel wood is collected from common land, often through women’s labour, given the very low opportunity cost of this labour, there is an overuse of labour in the collection of fuel wood and a lack of measures to increase the area-wise productivity of the product. But as commercial activities that involve the use of women’s labour develop, then that community or village may cease to collect fuel wood and instead purchase it.