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On the relationship between scale, allocation, and distribution

  • Malghan, Deepak

We develop a formal framework to investigate the relationship between ecological economics' concept of scale, and the more traditional concerns of allocation, and distribution. The framework presented here helps clarify differences between the normative and positive aspects of scale, allocation, and distribution. In particular, we distinguish between 'normative rules' and 'normative benchmarks'. This distinction helps untangle the web of hierarchical and evolutionary relationships that connect scale, allocation, and distribution. We also introduce concepts of scale efficiency and distribution efficiency as counterparts to the widely used allocation efficiency, and develop a simple dynamic model relating these three efficiencies. We then present stylized facts about the relationship between scale, allocation, and distribution that this model helps uncover.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11 (September)
Pages: 2261-2270

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:11:p:2261-2270
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
  2. Kakwani, Nanak C, 1977. "Applications of Lorenz Curves in Economic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 719-27, April.
  3. Gibson, Clark C. & Ostrom, Elinor & Ahn, T. K., 2000. "The concept of scale and the human dimensions of global change: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 217-239, February.
  4. Lawn, Philip A. & Sanders, Richard D., 1999. "Has Australia surpassed its optimal macroeconomic scale? Finding out with the aid of 'benefit' and 'cost' accounts and a sustainable net benefit index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 213-229, February.
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  7. Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Ecosystem services: From eye-opening metaphor to complexity blinder," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1219-1227, April.
  8. Gastwirth, Joseph L, 1972. "The Estimation of the Lorenz Curve and Gini Index," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(3), pages 306-16, August.
  9. Prakash, Aseem & Gupta, Anil K., 1994. "Are efficiency, equity, and scale independent?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 89-90, July.
  10. Herman E. Daly, 1991. "Towards an Environmental Macroeconomics," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(2), pages 255-259.
  11. Lawn, Philip A., 2001. "Scale, prices, and biophysical assessments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 369-382, September.
  12. Gastwirth, Joseph L & Glauberman, Marcia, 1976. "The Interpolation of the Lorenz Curve and Gini Index from Grouped Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 479-83, May.
  13. Jordan, Geraldine J. & Fortin, Marie-Josee, 2002. "Scale and topology in the ecological economics sustainability paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 361-366, May.
  14. Philip Lawn, 2004. "A comment on the independence of allocation, distribution and scale," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(4), pages 298-303.
  15. Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-77, May.
  16. Jacobson, Arne & Milman, Anita D. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2005. "Letting the (energy) Gini out of the bottle: Lorenz curves of cumulative electricity consumption and Gini coefficients as metrics of energy distribution and equity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(14), pages 1825-1832, September.
  17. Daly, Herman E., 1994. "Reply," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 90-91, July.
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