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Does Environmental Economics Produce Aeroplanes Without Engines? On the Need for an Environmental Social Science

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  • Henk Folmer
  • Olof Johansson-Stenman

Abstract

In this paper we first critically review conventional environmental economics. We conclude that the standard theory offers too narrow a perspective for many real world problems and that many theories are not empirically tested. Consequently, environmental economics is at risk of producing aeroplanes without engines. Next, we welcome and discuss some recent trends, particularly the rapid developments of behavioural and new institutional economics as well as the increased interest in empirical analysis. Yet, we conclude that more „logical duels between competing theories, more interaction between theory and empirics, and more integration between the social sciences are needed to achieve a better understanding of real world environmental problems and the development of adequate policy handles. Finally, we present an outline of steps towards the development of an environmental social science and briefly present the papers that make up this special issue as important building stones of such a discipline.
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  • Henk Folmer & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2011. "Does Environmental Economics Produce Aeroplanes Without Engines? On the Need for an Environmental Social Science," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 337-361, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:48:y:2011:i:3:p:337-361
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-010-9454-6
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    Cited by:

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    2. Li, Zhengtao & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2014. "To what extent does air pollution affect happiness? The case of the Jinchuan mining area, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 88-99.
    3. Tang, Jianjun & Folmer, Henk & Xue, Jianhong, 2015. "Technical and allocative efficiency of irrigation water use in the Guanzhong Plain, China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 43-52.
    4. Zhengtao Li & Henk Folmer & Jianhong Xue, 2016. "Perception of Air Pollution in the Jinchuan Mining Area, China: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-18, July.
    5. Kieran P. Donaghy, 2014. "Walter Isard’s Evolving Sense of the Scientific in Regional Science," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 37(1), pages 78-95, January.
    6. Zhengtao Li & Henk Folmer, 2023. "Air pollution and perception-based averting behaviour in the Jinchuan mining area, China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 70(2), pages 477-505, April.
    7. Bluffstone, Randy & Robinson, Elizabeth & Guthiga, Paul, 2013. "REDD+and community-controlled forests in low-income countries: Any hope for a linkage?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 43-52.
    8. Bluffstone, Randy & Robinson, Elizabeth & Guthiga, Paul, 2012. "Deforestation and forest degradation are estimated to account for between 12 percent and 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. These activities, largely in the developing world, released abou," RFF Working Paper Series dp-12-11-efd, Resources for the Future.
    9. Vivienne Byers & Alan Gilmer, 2021. "The Challenge of Sustainable Consumption for Governance and Policy Development—A Systematic Review," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(12), pages 1-21, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic methodology; Environmental economics; Experiments; Logical duels; Moral philosophy; Political science; Psychology; Sociology; Spatial sciences; Surveys; A12; B41; Q50;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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