Robert K. Fleck, F. Andrew Hanssen
Environmentalists, politicians, and scholars express concern about a "race to the bottom" in environmental policy. Yet economic theory indicates that a race to the bottom in environmental policy is highly unlikely, and there is little evidence that such races have, in fact, occurred.
Author Seth Norton shows that the impacts of rapid population growth are not as severe as most people believe. Even more important, he shows how changes in a country's legal system and economic framework can overcome the problems caused by population growth.
This paper, "Population Growth, Economic Freedom, and the Rule of Law," is the third PERC Policy Series essay honoring the late Julian Simon, a path-breaking economist who revised traditional thinking on issues from population growth to natural resources.