I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Vol.4 2014.03.13 YOKOO, Hide-Fumi

The Economics of Waste Management and International Recycling of Resources

March 13-14, 2014

In this lecture, we will learn about the actuality of policy making and evaluation from environmental economics, focusing on waste management and recycling policies.

We engage in economic activities of producing what people want, trading and consuming the goods. Following this process of production and consumption, unnecessary things are generated and disposed of. These are what we call wastes. Dealing with those wastes, things that are deemed “worthless” for the society, requires human labor and lands. It is inefficient for each of us to take charge of waste disposal individually. For this reason, national governments and local authorities collect and appropriately manage wastes. In addition, various recycling policies are being implemented in order to reduce the amount of wastes to the level acceptable for the society.

In this lecture, we will have an overview of waste management and recycling policies in the world through concrete examples of the U.S., Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. I will further introduce you to the transnational movement of wastes and used products. We will also learn about research results of waste management and recycling policies in the field of environmental economics that applies economics to make and evaluate environmental policies. Finally, we will think about efficient waste management and recycling policies as well as the pros and cons of regulations on international trade of used products.


YOKOO, Hide-Fumi
Assistant Professor at the Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Studies Professor Yokoo's area of specialty is environmental/resource economics. His main research topics include waste management and recycling policies. He has served in the current position since 2012, after finishing his doctoral course at the Department of Economics of Kyoto University, and later serving as Research Associate at Sustainable Material Cycles Research Program, Center for Material Cycles and Waste Management Research, The National Institute for Environmental Studies. His publications include: "Global Reuse and optimal waste policy" (co-authored with Thomas C. Kinnaman), “An economic theory of reuse.” He enjoys baseball.


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