Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective

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However the financial resources generated by increased wealth, the growing impact of services dematerialization thesis and changing individual preferences increasingly oriented towards a better quality of life as their individual incomes increase contribute to the reduction of pollutant emissions. Therefore, not only would an increase in income brought on by growth allow—through a trickle-down effect, as it is generally known—inequalities to become less obvious, but it would also contribute to the modification of individual aspirations, which are more likely to put pressure on governments to implement environmental policies.

Underscoring their work is the vision developed by Walt Rostow , which claims that at a certain point, economic development plays a part in the history of human societies 7. Of note on this subject is that Rostow did not limit his thoughts on the subject to the s. In a book published at the end of the s, Rostow indicated that he was well aware of the impact the depletion of natural resources and environmental problems was having on the supply capacity of modern economies.

Grossman and A. Krueger 9 adopted the same perspective; in essence, it presents the point of view that as economic growth is achieved, numerous environmental issues resolve themselves. For example, the results are different for the release of CO 2 or the generation of household waste, the quantities produced increasing with per capita income.

Moreover, although a relationship might exist, it may not be systematic. It is because there are public policies that encouraging results have been achieved in the fight against pollution. It must also be remembered that these reductions in pollution have been offset by increases in other areas or that the most polluting industries have been transferred to other latitudes.

It is also the willingness to factor in the specificity of environmental phenomena, which cannot be reduced to market logic that controls this research perspective, which—other than the different terms chosen to designate some of its trends bioeconomics, ecological economics, etc.

As will be discussed in this paper, this general idea can, however, cater to very different political objectives, depending on the intended role and position given public or private players. The concept of sustainable development has, as one of its sources, the forestry industry models, which were developed at the beginning of the 18th century, and management of the fisheries industry, both having experienced rapid development since the s.

The problem is that economic rationality, which aims for maximum profit, may be contrary to environmental logic and may lead to the depletion of resources. This point was made long ago by Augustin Cournot with regard to forest management 12 or, more recently, by Colin Clark regarding the fisheries economy, advocating government intervention and specific management regulations.

The first difficulty is to identify and assess all the major heterogeneous elements. It will then be necessary to specify the institutions that will allow economic actors to make the best decisions according to the different constraints. From this point of view, that is, beyond the difficulties experienced in its implementation, the example of the international policy of struggle against the greenhouse effect should perhaps be pondered. The Kyoto Protocol decreed a new environmental standard by establishing maximum limits to the CO 2 emissions released worldwide.

Furthermore, different ethical options are being considered in terms of the distribution of permits to pollute. Discussions concerning the implementation of an emissions permit trading method are making good progress. Although this may prove to be a challenge, defining a set of socio-environmental standards that would control a group of economic activities is not impossible. The novelty of this discourse does not reside so much in the content of its message—many of the principles explained have been known for a long time 13 —as it does in those who deliver it.

Robert Frosch and Nicholas Gallopoulos , authors of the reference article on industrial ecology, belong to the world of industry and, more precisely, to the world of engineering. There is nothing coincidental about this; the concept of industrial ecology also emerged in the context of the deliberations within international environmental organizations 14 , which have played an important role in the introduction and diffusion of the concept of sustainable development.

Industrial ecology is concerned with giving the concept of sustainable development Bourg, Erkman, an operational content. This biophysical information should also be related to the information generally used in economic decision-making, such as prices and profits earned. Industrial ecology therefore holds a place in the liberal tradition of internalization of externalities, which refers to the work of Ronald Coase , and favours market spontaneity over government authority, which is judged to be coercive by nature. Rethinking Economic Growth Theory from a Biophysical Perspective GoPro Chest

While some wish to retain the development objective, others call for its rejection and for the establishment of other prospects of social progress. We are therefore urged to reflect on the dominant economic values of our affluent societies. Growth, as such, is not rejected by the author, but it must serve social progress and the reasonable management of resources and natural environments. The need for development is reaffirmed, but this objective must take on a plurality of trajectories and a variety of mixed economic models.

Arising shortly after World War II, this reformed capitalism was founded on three principles: full employment as a central objective, the gatekeeper State and planning […] I believe that these three ideas still have a lot to offer […] not by taking us back into the past, but by allowing us to connect to them, through the experiences and the profound transformations that have taken place in the world during this era. Indeed, many countries from the South grow poorer by exporting resources at low prices to Northern countries, without taking into account the social and environmental costs incurred by this type of production.

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Emmanuel and S. Amin Martinez-Alier emphasizes the distributive conflicts linked to environmental problems. He places poverty, once again, at the heart of sustainability issues—a theme which made a remarkable comeback during the Johannesburg Summit —although in rather different circumstances. Under these circumstances, regretfully notes Joan Martinez-Alier , it is not surprising that the poor often sell at low prices.

It is therefore necessary for social movements to put pressure on environmental negotiations if we do not want them to lead to new exclusions and social inequalities. Instead, they are considering reinventing a new model for social change. The material and energy limits imposed by the law of thermodynamics led N.

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It is based on the notion that it is advisable to act on the demand of goods and services rather than on the supply, while remaining conscious of the need for poor populations to see their material conditions improve. To do away with the simple existential compensation provided by the consumption of a great number of goods and services, it is important to distribute productivity gains differently and to reduce work time Harribey, The brief overview covered in this text, which evidently deserved to be completed and refined, presented an extensive range of set social proposals and objectives and falls within the framework of a long history of controversies surrounding the dynamics of capitalism Vivien, This text covered points ranging from the support to the pursuit of growth and the accumulation of capital to the radical questioning of prevailing social categories, values and objectives, by way of proposals for policy development and the ecological modernization of capitalism.

Over and above this debate on the desired orientation of social change, there is also a discussion on the social forces showing promise and on the means of action at their disposal or given them.

The Theory of Economic Growth - Darden Professor Peter Rodriguez

While some economists display a determined confidence in the game of economic rationality and the price to regulate social and environmental constraints, others consider it important, above all, to establish standards for this purpose. The debate is therefore centered on the players who are in a position to implement and enforce these standards. The question is to decide whether it is the public authorities, private stakeholders or the increasingly diverse and numerous firms and partnerships with NGOs who will take on this role. Economists taking a more explicitly political stance place the emphasis on the action to be taken and the power relationships that must be established concerning environmental policies and trade negotiations.

To reiterate the point that is at the heart of economic reflection, one may say that economists question needs, or more specifically the need for personal enrichment. Through these different discussions, it becomes clear that it is also the manner in which the economic discourse is shaped and the importance granted to economic logic that are debated. I would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their extensive proof-reading and insightful suggestions.

Amin S. Arrow K.

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Payments We currently only accept immediate payment by PayPal for all eBay orders. Payment must be received before items can be despatched. His research interests include system dynamics, energy transitions, energy storage, complex systems, multi-agent systems and data visualization. He has participated in, organized and led educational workshops on sustainability and renewable energy across developing regions in Asia and Africa. Her research investigates the evolution of global net energy over time from the range of energy supply technologies using a system dynamics modelling approach.

Claire Copeland is a member of the Sussex Energy Group , an inter-disciplinary research group focusing on the technological, economic and political dimensions of sustainable energy, which engages with policy-makers and practitioner. After many years in the actuarial profession under various guises as consultant, project manager, account manager and software trainer Claire was awarded a distinction in for the MSc in Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey where she majored in life cycle assessment.

Claire has since applied life cycle assessment to a wide variety of products and systems including; a number of retail products, packaging, bed frame and also comparing produce grown on an allotment with commercially grown. Claire has tutored MSc students applying life cycle assessment in dissertations and has also been a visiting lecturer on life cycle assessment. Our contributors in alphabetical order :.

His research is focused on studying macroeconomic energy-economy interactions, through primarily the lens of exergy analysis. His research focuses on the long-term, large-scale evolution and dynamics of the energy-economy system, especially how development of energy resources affects social development and the effects of a future transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Michael holds a Ph. His doctoral thesis was Global Energy Modelling — A Biophysical Approach GEMBA , which combined net energy analysis with systems dynamic modelling to study the interaction of the global economy with the energy sector.

Trained as a nuclear engineer, he has acquired expertise in large-scale infrastructure projects in the French and the US nuclear industries. Mario Giampietro on energy supply issues and the integrated assessment of energy systems.

Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective
Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective Rethinking Economic Growth Theory From a Biophysical Perspective

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