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Fact Versus Conjecture in the History of Industrial Waste Utilization

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  • Christine Meisner Rosen

Abstract

This piece is a response to Pierre Desrochers’s criticism of an article by me. This response challenges Desrochers’s argument that market forces compelled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century manufacturers to recycle, voluntarily, the vast majority of their wastes. I argue that Desrochers provides no counter-evidence that disproves my findings and that he bases some of his criticism on conjecture that is factually inaccurate and/or overly simplistic. I conclude that to do justice to this important and complex subject, historians need to investigate the barriers that discouraged manufacturers from using their wastes, as well as the full range of regulatory as well as market-based drivers that encouraged them to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Meisner Rosen, 2012. "Fact Versus Conjecture in the History of Industrial Waste Utilization," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(2), pages 112-121, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:2:p:112-121
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    File URL: https://econjwatch.org/file_download/543/RosenMay2012.pdf?mimetype=pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rosen, Christine Meisner, 1995. "Businessmen Against Pollution in Late Nineteenth Century Chicago," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 351-397, September.
    2. Rosen, Christine Meisner & Sellers, Christopher C., 1999. "The Nature of the Firm: Towards an Ecocultural History of Business," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(04), pages 577-600, December.
    3. Pierre Desrochers, 2012. "Freedom Versus Coercion in Industrial Ecology: A Reply to Boons," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(2), pages 78-99, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industrial ecology; inter-firm recycling; loop closing; by-products; resource conservation; pollution regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)

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