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Resilience in the Dynamics of Economy-Environment Systems


  • Charles Perrings



The ecological concept of resilience has begun to inform analysis of change in economy-environment systems. The linkages between resilience and the stability of dynamical systems are discussed, along with its role in understanding of the evolution of such systems. Particular linkages discussed include those between resilience, biodiversity and the sustainability of alternative states. Recent developments in modelling the resilience of joint economy-environment systems suggest the advantages of analysing change in the system as a Markov process, the transition probabilities between states offering a natural measure of the resilience of the system in such states. It is argued that this ‘emergent property’ of the collaboration between ecology and economics has far-reaching implications for the way we think about, model and manage the environmental sustainability of economic development. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Perrings, 1998. "Resilience in the Dynamics of Economy-Environment Systems," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 503-520, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:11:y:1998:i:3:p:503-520
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008255614276

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lipnowski, Irwin F., 1976. "An input-output analysis of environmental preservation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 205-214, October.
    2. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro & Bruce Rhodes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1997. "A Test of the Theory of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 479-505.
    3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    4. Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
    5. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
    6. Reed, William J., 1979. "Optimal escapement levels in stochastic and deterministic harvesting models," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 350-363, December.
    7. W. Brian Arthur, 1992. "On Learning and Adaptation in the Economy," Working Papers 854, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. Norton, Bryan G., 1990. "Context and hierarchy in Aldo Leopold's theory of environmental management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 119-127, June.
    9. Amir, Shmuel, 1994. "The role of thermodynamics in the study of economic and ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 125-142, July.
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    biodiversity; dynamics; resilience; stability;


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