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The Development of Environmental Thinking in Economics

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  • Clive L. Spash

Abstract

There has always been a sub-group of established economists trying to convey an environmental critique of the mainstream. This paper traces their thinking into the late 20th century via the development of associations and journals in the USA and Europe. There is clearly a divergence between the conformity to neo-classical economics favoured by resource and environmental economists and the acceptance of more radical critiques apparent in ecological economics. Thus, the progressive elements of ecological economics are increasingly incompatible with those practising neo-classical environmental economics who try to reduce all concepts to fit within the confines of their models. A group of people can be identified who teach that ecological economics is nothing more than a name for the link between mainstream economics and ecology. A new movement and paradigm are unnecessary for such ends. This viewpoint is argued to be inconsistent with the roots and ideas of the ecological economics movement. Ecological economics is seen here to be synthesising various types of economics (e.g., socialist, institutional, environmental) and moving back to explicit inclusion of ethical issues in the mode of classical political economy. This inevitably means rediscovering neglected past works and exploring new ways of thinking about socio-economics and the environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 413-435

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Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev8:ev821

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Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

Related research

Keywords: environment; ethics; ecological economics; history of thought; political economy;

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Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Ecological Economics
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Cited by:
  1. Kallis, Giorgos & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Coevolutionary ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 690-699, February.
  2. David I. Stern, 2012. "Ecological Economics," Crawford School Research Papers 1203, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
  4. Clive L Spash & Heinz Schandl, 2009. "Growth, the Environment and Keynes: Reflections on Two Heterodox Schools of Thought," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-01, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
  5. van der Heide, C.M. & Brouwer, Floor M. & Bellon, Stephane & Bockstaller, Christian & Garrod, Guy & Geniaux, Ghislain & Oliveira, Rosario & Smith, Peter & Stapleton, Lee & Weinzaepflen, Emmanuelle & Z, 2007. "Review of approaches to establish reference levels to interpret indicators," Reports 57466, SEAMLESS: System for Environmental and Agricultural Modelling, Linking European Science and Society.
  6. Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Hertel, Kirsten & Manstetten, Reiner, 2005. "Malthus vs. Wordsworth: Perspectives on humankind, nature and economy. A contribution to the history and the foundations of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 299-310, May.
  7. Clive L. Spash, 2013. "The Ecological Economics of Boulding's Spaceship Earth," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2013_02, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  8. Shi, Tian, 2004. "Ecological economics as a policy science: rhetoric or commitment towards an improved decision-making process on sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 23-36, January.
  9. Ropke, Inge, 2004. "The early history of modern ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 293-314, October.
  10. Chiesura, Anna & de Groot, Rudolf, 2003. "Critical natural capital: a socio-cultural perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 219-231, March.
  11. Halkos, George, 2011. "The evolution of environmental thinking in economics," MPRA Paper 35580, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Bajmócy, Zoltán & Málovics, György, 2009. "A fenntarthatóság közgazdaságtani értelmezései
    [Economic interpretations of sustainability]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 464-483.
  13. Nelson, Julie A., 2009. "Between a rock and a soft place: Ecological and feminist economics in policy debates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, November.
  14. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Towards the integration of social, economic and ecological knowledge," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_04, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  15. Ropke, Inge, 2005. "Trends in the development of ecological economics from the late 1980s to the early 2000s," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 262-290, November.
  16. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2000. "Ecological Economics: Themes, Approaches, and Differences with Environmental Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  17. Spash, Clive L. & Ryan, Anthony M., 2010. "Ecological, Heterodox and Neoclassical Economics: Investigating the Differences," MPRA Paper 26292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Hubacek, Klaus & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2006. "Changing concepts of 'land' in economic theory: From single to multi-disciplinary approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 5-27, January.
  19. Vatn, Arild, 2009. "An institutional analysis of methods for environmental appraisal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2207-2215, June.

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