Two competing theories generally used, at least implicitly, to justify and analyze public resource management are scientific management and pluralism. We briefly review these theories and compare them to the new resource economics, an emerging body of theory which revises resource economics by introducing concepts from Austrian economics, property rights theory, and public choice. We argue that the new resource economics is superior to these traditional theories and then present specific policy proposals for the national forests, wilderness areas, and the public grazing lands. We also criticize new resource economists for not clearly distinguishing ideology from science, for emphasizing efficiency as a criterion for policy analysis, and for lacking political strategies for implementing their proposals Copyright 1984 Western Economic Association International.
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