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Biophysical structure of the Ecuadorian economy, foreign trade, and policy implications

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  • Vallejo, Maria Cristina

Abstract

At the core of this paper lays the notion that a systematic analysis of material flow accounts enables us to discuss the sustainability of an economic model. Ecuador is going through a socio-ecological transition from an agrarian towards an industrial regime, based on the use of nonrenewable sources of materials and energy. Direct material flow indicators are used in this article to analyze the ecological dimension of the economy of Ecuador during 1970-2007. This approach enables the concept of societal metabolism to become operative. The paper compares societal metabolic profiles showing that per capita use of materials is still at about one-fifth of the average in the high income countries of the world. Physical flows of trade indicate that there is an ecologically unequal exchange. Whereas a positive trade balance is desirable from an economic policy, its counterpart in physical units has been a persistent net outflow of material resources, the extraction of which causes environmental impacts and social conflicts.

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  • Vallejo, Maria Cristina, 2010. "Biophysical structure of the Ecuadorian economy, foreign trade, and policy implications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 159-169, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:159-169
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    1. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
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    8. Gerber, Julien-François & Veuthey, Sandra & Martínez-Alier, Joan, 2009. "Linking political ecology with ecological economics in tree plantation conflicts in Cameroon and Ecuador," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2885-2889, October.
    9. Krausmann, Fridolin & Gingrich, Simone & Eisenmenger, Nina & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Haberl, Helmut & Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, 2009. "Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2696-2705, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. West, James & Schandl, Heinz, 2013. "Material use and material efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 19-27.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:723-:d:135017 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Falconí, Fander & Ramos-Martin, Jesus & Cango, Pedro, 2017. "Caloric unequal exchange in Latin America and the Caribbean," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 140-149.
    4. Fander Falconí & María Cristina Vallejo, 2012. "Transiciones socioecológicas en la región andina," Revista Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, Red Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica, vol. 18, pages 53-71, Abril.
    5. Samaniego, Pablo & Vallejo, María Cristina & Martínez-Alier, Joan, 2017. "Commercial and biophysical deficits in South America, 1990–2013," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 62-73.
    6. Demaria, Federico, 2010. "Shipbreaking at Alang-Sosiya (India): An ecological distribution conflict," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 250-260, December.
    7. Muñoz, Pablo & Strohmaier, Rita & Roca, Jordi, 2011. "On the North-South trade in the Americas and its ecological asymmetries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1981-1990, September.
    8. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Latorre, Sara & Farrell, Katharine N. & Martínez-Alier, Joan, 2015. "The commodification of nature and socio-environmental resistance in Ecuador: An inventory of accumulation by dispossession cases, 1980–2013," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 58-69.

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