Some Examples of External Costs
  • the costs linked to atmospheric pollution, that put at risk the health of a population, spoil buildings and monuments, cause damages to ecosystems, forests and agriculture;
  • the expected damages of climate changes, that are more and more at the top of public and scientific concerns
  • the economic losses to commercial activities and to real estates due to the landscape impacts of infrastructure
  • the costs of non-expected time losses for goods and passengers due to traffic congestion
  • the damages to economic activities, to private properties, to natural resources and health due to accidental and non accidental discharges of oil or other toxic substances into the seas and rivers
  • the health, psychic and relational damages, often very dramatic, due to road accidents
  • the costs linked to health and amenity effects due to persistent sources of noise
  • the loss of utility for present and future generations due to a reduction in biodiversity and to habitat impairment
  • the costs of taxes violations, because they fall back as higher taxes on traditional payers
Many other examples can be made. But the external costs categories more important and dangerous for society are those linked to well diffused and averagely harmful events.
With other words:
it’s not enough to recognize them, it is necessary to measure them!

© 2006 - Andrea Molocchi