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A dimensionally consistent aggregation framework for biophysical metrics

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  • Malghan, Deepak

Abstract

We develop a formal representation of the economy-ecosystem interaction problem by distinguishing between stock-flow, and fund-flux spaces (Georgescu-Roegen, 1971). We then define dimensionless quantities in both the cardinal stock-flow space and the ordinal fund-flux space. This leads to analytic definitions of natural capital and natural income in the fund-flux space. We show that a stock-fund representation of the economy-ecosystem interaction problem helps investigate aggregation properties of biophysical metrics. In particular, we show how a metric that is dimensionally consistent in the stock-flow space can have dimensional problems in the fund-flux space. Ecological footprint is used as an illustrative example. Finally, we argue that dimensionally consistent metrics are keys to further the development of biophysical assessments as a tool for practical environmental policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (March)
Pages: 900-909

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:5:p:900-909

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Stocks and funds Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Biophysical assessment Dimensional consistency Natural capital and natural income Ecological footprint;

References

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  1. Ferng, Jiun-Jiun, 2009. "Applying input-output analysis to scenario analysis of ecological footprints," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 345-354, December.
  2. Ayres, Robert U., 1998. "Eco-thermodynamics: economics and the second law," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 189-209, August.
  3. Mayumi, Kozo & Giampietro, Mario, 2010. "Dimensions and logarithmic function in economics: A short critical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1604-1609, June.
  4. Hubacek, Klaus & Giljum, Stefan, 2003. "Applying physical input-output analysis to estimate land appropriation (ecological footprints) of international trade activities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 137-151, February.
  5. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Ruth, Matthias, 1997. "When, where, and by how much do biophysical limits constrain the economic process?: A survey of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-223, September.
  6. Geoffrey P. Hammond & Adrian B. Winnett, 2009. "The Influence of Thermodynamic Ideas on Ecological Economics: An Interdisciplinary Critique," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(4), pages 1195-1225, December.
  7. Turner, Karen & Lenzen, Manfred & Wiedmann, Thomas & Barrett, John, 2007. "Examining the global environmental impact of regional consumption activities -- Part 1: A technical note on combining input-output and ecological footprint analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 37-44, April.
  8. Wernick, Iddo K. & Ausubel, Jesse H., 1995. "National material metrics for industrial ecology," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 189-198, September.
  9. Wiedmann, Thomas & Minx, Jan & Barrett, John & Wackernagel, Mathis, 2006. "Allocating ecological footprints to final consumption categories with input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 28-48, January.
  10. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, October.
  11. Ayres, Robert U., 1999. "The second law, the fourth law, recycling and limits to growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 473-483, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joshua Farley, 2014. "Seeking Consilience for Sustainability Science:Â Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and the New Economics," Challenges in Sustainability, Librello publishing house, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17.
  2. Joshua Farley & Matthew Burke & Gary Flomenhoft & Brian Kelly & D. Forrest Murray & Stephen Posner & Matthew Putnam & Adam Scanlan & Aaron Witham, 2013. "Monetary and Fiscal Policies for a Finite Planet," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 2802-2826, June.

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