Rhinonomics: How different goods (such as rhino horn) will behave in different supply-demand situations
Albert Küller
September, 2012

The view of an economist using economic fundamentals to argue against the legalisation of sale of existing stock of rhinoceros horn, or the law of unintended consequences and perverse economic outcomes1.

Rhinoceros, often called rhinos in spoken language, comprise of a group of five extant species. Two of these species are native to Africa and the other three are native to southern and southeastern Asia.

In nature, the rhinoceros has few natural enemies. Unfortunately, the irrationality of mankind threatens the very existence of these beautiful herbivorous mammals. At the beginning of the 20th century there were around 500.000 rhinos in the world, today there are fewer than 30.000 rhinos left. The main reason why rhino numbers have dwindled is the high demand for rhino horn. One widespread use for rhino horn is for pseudo-scientific medicinal purposes. A common misconception is that the horn is used as an aphrodisiac; it is actually prescribed for pretty much everything but impotence and sexual inability.

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