The Economics of Third World National Parks: Issues of Tourism and Environmental Management

National parks and game reserves are under threat from exploitation by tourists and by people living on their borders. Parks, although highly valued by conservationists, are not protected from unregulated economic behaviour within and outside their borders. In The Economics of Third World National Parks, Anup Shah argues that parks and reserves are worth preserving, rigorously analyses the problem and advocates solutions drawing on a wide range of sources. Issues discussed include the effects of economic activity on a national park, the tourist problem, valuing a national park and the use of cost-benefit decision making. Dr Shah uses economic analysis to explore institutional arrangements which would compensate for externalities resulting from exploitation and over-use by tourists and local communities. The price mechanism, he argues, is not a satisfactory tool with which to protect areas of rich bio-diversity. The Economics of Third World National Parks presents a clear and thoughtful application of economic thought, and especially the concept of externalities, to a key problem which current institutional structures seem unable to resolve.