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The approach of ecological economics

John Gowdy and Jon D. Erickson
Cambridge Journal of Economics
Vol. 29, No. 2 (March 2005), pp. 207-222
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23602183
Page Count: 16
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The approach of ecological economics
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Abstract

This paper discusses the major tenets of ecological economics—including value pluralism, methodological pluralism and multi-criteria policy assessment. Ecological economics offers viable alternatives to the theoretical foundations and policy recommendations of neoclassical welfare economics. A revolution in neoclassical economics is currently taking place, and the core assumptions of welfare economics are being replaced with more realistic models of consumer and firm behaviour. This paper argues that these new theoretical and empirical findings are largely ignored in applied work and policy applications in environmental economics. As the only heterodox school of economics focusing on the human economy both as a social system and as one imbedded in the biophysical universe, and thus both holistic and scientifically based, ecological economics is poised to play a leading role in recasting the scope and method of economic science.

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