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Sinn, Hans-Werner (1982): The economic theory of species extinction: Comment on smith. In: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 9, No. 2: pp. 194-198
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A widely recognized article by Smith suggests that harvesting leading to species extinction may be socially optimal, provided that the species growth-potential is sufficiently low. It is shown that this conclusion hinges on special assumptions about harvest technology which, despite a superficial compatibility with neoclassical production theory, contradict a basic postulate of a pioneering article by Gordon. As soon as Gordon’s postulate is taken into account, while all other aspects of Smith’s model are maintained, it turns out that even a species with a very low growth potential should not become extinct.