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Ecological Footprints in Plural: A Meta-analytic Comparison of Empirical Results


Author Info

  • Peter Nijkamp
  • Emilia Rossi
  • Gabriella Vindigni


Nijkamp P., Rossi E. and Vindigni G. (2004) Ecological footprints in plural: a meta-analytic comparison of empirical results, Regional Studies38, 747-765. The concept of an ecological footprint is intriguing and has prompted an avalanche of theoretical and applied research. In recent publications both the scientific basis and the policy relevance of this concept have been given ample attention, while also much empirical work has been undertaken to assess the value of the ecological footprint in different regions or countries of the world. The paper starts with a concise critical overview of the current discussion on ecological footprints. Its main aim, however, is to provide a meta-analytic assessment and interpretation of the various empirical findings in the recent literature that offer estimated values or ranges of the ecological footprint indicator. The sensitivity of ecological footprints for the stringent assumptions made in the calculation schemes is investigated using frequency analyses, cross- tabulation methods and decision-tree induction methods (a recent technique based on pattern recognition methods). The results show that methodological choice, geographical scales and year of data collection offer a significant explanation for variations in results. The paper concludes with some suggestions for further research. Nijkamp P., Rossi E. et Vindigni G. (2004) Des traces ecologiques au pluriel: une comparaison meta- analytique des resultats empiriques, Regional Studies38, 747-765. La notion de traces ecologiques est fascinante et a provoque un flot de recherches fondamentale et appliquee. Dans des revues recentes on a prete une attention particuliere a la base scientifique de cette notion et a son importance pour la politique, alors que beaucoup de travail empirique a ete fait aussi afin d'evaluer les traces ecologiques dans diverses regions et dans de differents pays du monde. Dans un premier temps, cet article cherche a donner une vue d'ensemble critique et concise du debat actuel sur la notion de traces ecologiques. Cependant, son but principal est de fournir une evaluation et une interpretation meta-analytiques des differentes preuves empiriques que l'on peut trouver dans la documentation recente et qui fournissent des estimations ou des approximations de l'indice des traces ecologiques. La sensibilite des valeurs des traces ecologiques pour ce qui est des suppositions rigoureuses faites dans les calculs sont examinees a partir des analyses de frequences, des donnees croisees, et des methodes d'induction par arbres de decisions (une technique recente fondee sur des methodes d'identification de configuration). Les resultats laissent voir que le choix methodologique, l'echelle geographique, et la collecte des donnees en fonction de l'an, fournissent une explication riche des variations des resultats. L'article conclut par proposer des recherches futures. Nijkamp P., Rossi E. und Vindigni G. (2004) Okologische Fussspuren uberall: ein meta-analytischer Vergleich empirischer Ergebnisse, Regional Studies38, 747-765. Der Begriff Okologischer Fussspuren ist faszinierend, und hat eine wahre Lavine theoretischer und angewandter Forschung veranlasst. In kurzlich verOffentlichten Arbeiten hat man der wissenschaftlichen Grundlage und der politischen Relevanz dieser Vorstellung reichlich Aufmerksamkeit gezollt, wahrend gleichzeitig viel empirische Arbeit unternommen wurde, um den Wert Okologischer Fussspuren in verschiedenen Regionen oder Landern der Welt zu beurteilen. Dieser Aufsatz beginnt mit einem knappen, kritischen uberblick uber die gegenwartige Debatte uber Okologische Fussspuren. Sein Hauptziel ist jedoch, eine meta-analytische Beurteilung und Interpretation der verschiedenen empirischen Befunde der kurzlich verOffentlichten Literatur vorzulegen, die Schatzwerte oder Reihen Okologischer Fussspurenwerte anbieten. Die Sensitivitat Okologischer Fussspurenwerte fur strenge Kriterien, die in Berechnungsschemen verlangt werden, werden untersucht, und zwar mit Hilfe von Frequenzanalysen, Kreuztabulierungsmethoden und Entscheidungsbaumverfahren (einer ju ngst entwickelten Technik, die sich auf Methoden der Musterverfahren stutzt). Die Ergebnisse der Autoren zeigen, dass Wahl der Methodik, geographische Skalen und Jahr der Datensammlung signifikante Erklarungen fur Abweichungen bei Ergebnissen liefern. Der Aufsatz schliesst mit Vorschlagen fur weitere Forschung. Nijkamp P., Rossi E. y Vindigni G. (2004) Huellas ecologicas en plural: una comparacion meta-analitica de resultados empiricos, Regional Studies38, 747-765. El concepto de huella ecologica es intrigante y ha suscitado una avalancha de investigaciones teoricas y aplicadas. En recientes publicaciones se ha prestado una amplia atencion tanto a la base cientifica como a la relevancia politica de este concepto, mientras que tambien se ha llevado a cabo una gran cantidad de trabajo empirico con el fin de evaluar el valor de la huella ecologica en diferentes regiones y paises del mundo. El presente articulo comienza con una breve revision breve y concisa sobre el actual debate en torno a las huellas ecologicas. El objetivo principal de este articulo, sin embargo, es ofrecer una interpretacion y evaluacion meta-analitica de los varios resultados empiricos presentes en la literatura reciente que ofrecen valores o rangos estimados del indicador de huella ecologica. La sensibilidad de los valores atribuidos a la huella ecologica para las rigurosas suposiciones hechas en los esquemas de calculo se investiga utilizando analisis de frecuencia, metodos de tablas cruzadas y metodos de induccion de arboles de decision (una tecnica reciente basada en metodos de reconocimiento de patrones). Nuestros resultados muestran que la eleccion metodologica, las escalas geograficas y el ano de recoleccion de datos ofrecen una explicacion significativa de las variaciones en los resultados. Este articulo concluye con algunas recomendaciones para futuras investigaciones.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 38 (2004)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 747-765

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:38:y:2004:i:7:p:747-765

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Keywords: Biodiversity; Ecological footprint; Frequency analysis; Cross-tabulation methods; Decision-tree induction methods; Sustainable development;


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Cited by:
  1. Don Clifton, 2012. "Sustainable Business: Are We Heading in the Right Direction?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 586-603, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Caviglia-Harris, Jill L. & Chambers, Dustin & Kahn, James R., 2009. "Taking the "U" out of Kuznets: A comprehensive analysis of the EKC and environmental degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1149-1159, February.
  4. Max Munday & Annette Roberts, 2006. "Developing approaches to measuring and monitoring sustainable development in Wales: A review," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(5), pages 535-554.
  5. Huijbregts, Mark A.J. & Hellweg, Stefanie & Frischknecht, Rolf & Hungerbuhler, Konrad & Hendriks, A. Jan, 2008. "Ecological footprint accounting in the life cycle assessment of products," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 798-807, February.


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