Karl-Göran Mäler

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European Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Economics, 2005

"Karl-Göran has written what many regard as the definitive book in our field, and he has consistently provided the intellectual ballast to the subject of environmental economics that ensured it was taken seriously by the economics mainstream. It is difficult to overstate the importance of such intellectual accreditation. As Director of the Beijer Institute, he has encouraged the integration of ecology and economics, an intellectual stretch that many have thought about, a few have tried to bridge, but with limited success. His consistent leadership in this area provides this interface with a status, a precedent and a template that will yield great intellectual and practical dividends. At a personal level, his combination of intellectual rigour, humour and complete unpretentiousness as to rank or position make him great company, notwithstanding his unaccountable (to Irish sensibilities at least) culinary enthusiasm for putrid herring ('surströmming')."

- Frank Convery, Ireland

"Karl-Göran Mäler has an exciting background as an economist with an unusually good blend of both mathematical ability, intuition and political experience. He is also unusually open for and interested in other disciplines. His contributions span a vast area from national accounts to mangroves or acid rain. He has received a number of prestigious awards already, including recently the Volvo Environment Prize and much praise is rightly given to his 1974 book which people reportedly fight over at the Antiquarain bookstores. I would like here to focus more on his role as the Director - and initiator - of the Beijer Institute. In this role he has made a tremendously important contribution to the integration of ecology and economics by bringing, sometimes forcing, good ecologists and economists to actually interact. This may sound easy but it isn't - it might sound obvious but very few researchers from such different disciplines do really work together. This is still an infant area but thanks to Karl Göran and the Beijer Institute, it is now taking important new strides. At the same time, Karl Göran and the Beijer are also bent on extending research collaboration into the developping countries."

- Thomas Sterner, Sweden

"Karl-Goran Maler is an intellectual giant of environmental economics. His book, Environmental Economics: A Theoretical Inquiry, is monumental. Published in 1974, it anticipated and laid the foundation for many of the topics that would come to dominate our field: general equilibrium analysis, valuation, national income accounting, environment and growth, uncertainty and instrument choice, and more. His Acid Rain Game paper, written in 1991, did much the same for the field of transboundary pollution economics. His greatest contributions, however, may have been of a different kind. He was a founding member of the EAERE, and as Director of the Beijer Institute, he established a remarkable dialogue between economists and ecologists that has changed thinking on both sides. Perhaps most importantly of all, he along with Partha Dasgupta created a teaching and research program that delivered our subject to promising young scholars in developing countries, and brought their own issues in turn to our attention. It is not an exaggeration to say that Karl-Goran Maler helped to create the field of environmental economics, helped to nurture it once it became established, and helped to spread its seeds after that. On a personal note, he has been a teacher and a mentor and a friend to me, and changed the way I think. Most of all, he has taught me to think absolutely clearly*or at least to aspire to do so."

- Scott Barrett, USA

"In 1990, the first annual meeting of EAERE was held (of course) in Venice. I had the privilege of chairing a plenary session in the Aula Magna, Ca' Dolfin, in which Karl-Göran and F. Bandarin (of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova) were the speakers. I had prepared a fitting introduction for Karl-Göran as a builder of the foundations of Environmental Economics, with his Environmental Economics: A Theoretical Inquiry (1974) standing as one of those ageless classics, like Otto Eckstein's Water Resource Development: the Economics of Project Evaluation (1961), that we all continue to consult. Naturally, he demurred, then proceeded to give a brilliant exposition on national accounting and environmental degradation, starting from scratch since he had forgotten to bring his overhead transparencies!

It might be added that Mr. Bandarin gave an excellent presentation on "The Venice Lagoon Problem..." and later led the conference on a tour of the Lagoon in chilly, rainy weather that some of us still remember, huddled around the tour boat's bar warming up with grappa!"

- Charles W. (Chuck) Howe, USA

"I feel a little bit like the 6th husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor: 'I know what is expected of me, but I do not know how to make it
interesting'. But rather then make this little note interesting, let me simply state the facts. I have been fortunate to know David and Karl-Göran all the way back to my student days. There can be no better mentors. I have benefitted, in too many ways to mention here, from their good advice and kindness. Congratulations to both of you. With warm good wishes."

- Bengt Kriström, Sweden

"Maler and Pearce have my respect, the first for hos insightful contributions to theoretical issues, the second for his endless endeavors to assing values to the environment."

- Joseph Lekakis, Greece

"It is impossible for me to put into a "short paragraph" both the appreciation and the debt that I owe these two great European environmental economists, Karl-Goran Maler and David Pearce. Unfortunately, an unavoidable scheduling conflict means that I will miss the Bremen conference, and so I cannot be there to honor these two leading lights and their distinguished careers. I wish it were not so.

The word intellectual "genius" is over-used, but in Karl-Goran's case it is so apt a description. His theoretical contributions to environmental economics are as legendery as they are profound, to the extent that countless generations of environmental economists, long after the present generation is gone, will be standing on the shoulders of his intellectual achievements. Perhaps they will never know this; but I and many others of the present generation do. And for this we will always be grateful to Karl-Goran."

- Ed Barbier, USA

"It is difficult to me to think about a lifetime achievement award in the field of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics without having in the first position of the list to these two excellent economists, Karl-Goran Mäler and David Pearce. Thank them people like me working a little isolated in the beginning of his career here in the South have found the intellectual stimulus to devote their research effort to the development of this field. Thank you for all and congratulations."

- Santiago J. Rubio, Spain

"Karl-Goran Maler deeply increased our economic understanding of ecosystems analysis."

- Raimund Bleischwitz, Germany

"It is a great idea to have EAERE recognize individuals with particular achievements in developing environmental and resource economics in Europe. I have no doubt that these three distinguished individuals have deserved to be selected as the first nominees for 2005. However, my family was particularly excited about Karl-Goran Maler's nomination. While I was spending an exceptionally rewarding and stimulating Guest Professorship at the Beijer Institute in 1992/1993, Barbara, Anna and Marta enjoyed a delightful stay in Stockholm and were enchanted by Karl-Goran whenever we had an opportunity to see him coming to Frescati, or to make a trip together -- whether in Sweden, or (later on) in Poland. Karl-Goran, not only the academics wish to congratulate you!"

- Tomasz Zylicz, Poland

"K-G Maler and David Pearce have both in their different ways been very influential and contributed greatly to the evolution and wider international acceptance of the sub-discipline of environmental and resource economics since the 1960s. Karl-Goran's work on the theoretical frontiers (including for example the production function approach) of the sub-discipline is widely acknowledged to have set the standards for others to follow. More recently his work on natural resource accounting and non-convex systems has set in motion a whole new wave of research encompassing both developed and developing country economies. He has truly earned his place in the environmental economists' 'hall of fame'.

David Pearce's contribution to the profession is no less noteworthy. David's prolific applied economics work has spanned a large range of policy-relevant issues and problems. His publications, above all others, are always immensely lucid and readable analyses of complex topics. The sub-discipline owes him an immense debt for there is no doubt that his work has served to showcase environmental economics to a range of audiences, not least students and the policy makers and related communities. His interdisciplinary insights have also served to engage economists with the natural scientists and many fruitful collaborations have subsequently emerged. Both of these colleagues have greatly helped and influenced me and I owe them a personal debt of gratitude. But their real merit lies in the fact that I am only one of very many people who have benefited from their wisdom. They are truly two of the main pillars of modern environmental economic thought and the associated academic community."

- Kerry Turner, UK

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