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Value System Contests and the Appropriation of Ecological Capital


  • O'Connor, Martin


This paper models use of irreplaceable natural resources and environmental amenities, and value-system conflicts associated with incompatible uses. In a Sraffa/von Neumann joint production framework, the economy-environment is represented as an ensemble of interdependent processes. Model solutions are constructed for sustainable and unsustainable time-paths of an economy, each scenario making differing assumptions about dependence of the economy on availability of environmental resources and waste disposal services, and on renewability or otherwise of this 'ecological capital.' Accumulation of an 'ecological capital'may also be considered as an autonomous para-economy activity. Model scenarios then represent outcomes of power struggles where sustainable para-economy activity is in conflict with the appropriation of the ecological capital needed to ensure growth of the economy. Copyright 1993 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

Suggested Citation

  • O'Connor, Martin, 1993. "Value System Contests and the Appropriation of Ecological Capital," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 61(4), pages 398-424, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manch2:v:61:y:1993:i:4:p:398-424

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stern, David I., 1997. "Limits to substitution and irreversibility in production and consumption: A neoclassical interpretation of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 197-215, June.

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