Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics

Volume 4, issue 8

Ecosystems as Natural Assets

It is now standard in economics to model natural resources as a special form of capital that can be depleted or accumulated. The following review shows how such an approach can be extended to ecosystems, implying that they are a form of natural asset that produces a flow of beneficial goods and serv...
Volume 4, issue 6–7

The Challenge of Improving Water and Sanitation Services in Less Developed Countries

This paper argues that there are many challenges to designing and implementing water and sanitation interventions that actually deliver economic benefits to the households in developing countries. Perhaps most critical to successful water and sanitation investments is to discover and implement forms...
Volume 4, issue 5

Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels

This review provides a timely summary of the current understanding of the various impacts and contributes positively to the policy debate. We have several key conclusions: (1) Biofuels are diverse and evolving; (2) Greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits vary significantly across various types of biofuels and...
Volume 4, issue 4

Seller Reputation

Seller reputation is an important asset because buyers often choose sellers on the basis of their reputation. This is particularly true when the quality of the good or service transacted is hard to measure and the parties cannot perfectly contract on the outcome of the transaction. As a consequence,...
Volume 4, issue 3

Earnings Over the Life Cycle: The Mincer Earnings Function and Its Applications

In 1958, Jacob Mincer pioneered an important approach to understand how earnings are distributed across the population. In the years since Mincer's seminal work, he as well as his students and colleagues extended the original human capital model, reaching important conclusions about a whole array of...
Volume 4, issue 1–2

The Microeconomics of Insurance

In this relatively short survey, we present the core elements of the microeconomic analysis of insurance markets at a level suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate economics students. The aim of this analysis is to understand how insurance markets work, what their fundamental economic functio...