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Freedom Versus Coercion in Industrial Ecology: A Reply to Boons

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  • Pierre Desrochers
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    I have published many articles arguing that industrial and inter-firm recycling was widespread before 1900 and overwhelmingly the result of market forces. Treating my papers to 2005, Frank Boons (2008) challenges those conclusions. He also criticizes me for neglecting structural, cultural, and political considerations. As a result, he suggests, my case on behalf of free enterprise as the preferred coordinating arrangement to stimulate inter-firm recycling is untenable. In this article I reply to Boons and treat related work by business historian Christine Meisner Rosen. I stand by my earlier claims and support them with additional evidence. I then provide short critiques of Boons’s other arguments, evidence, and interpretations.

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    Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 78-99

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    Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:2:p:78-99
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    1. Pierre Desrochers, 2008. "Did the Invisible Hand Need a Regulatory Glove to Develop a Green Thumb? Some Historical Perspective on Market Incentives, Win-Win Innovations and the Porter Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(4), pages 519-539, December.
    2. Debora Spar and Krysztof Bebenek, 2009. "To the Tap: Public versus Private Water Provision at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," Business History Review, Harvard Business School, vol. 83(4), pages 675-702, December.
    3. Desrochers, Pierre, 2009. "Victorian Pioneers of Corporate Sustainability," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(04), pages 703-729, December.
    4. Pierre Desrochers, 2010. "The environmental responsibility of business is to increase its profits (by creating value within the bounds of private property rights)," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 161-204, February.
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