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The approach of ecological economics

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  • John Gowdy
  • Jon D. Erickson

Abstract

This paper discusses the major tenets of ecological economics--including value pluralism, methodological pluralism and multi-criteria policy assessment. Ecological economics offers viable alternatives to the theoretical foundations and policy recommendations of neoclassical welfare economics. A revolution in neoclassical economics is currently taking place, and the core assumptions of welfare economics are being replaced with more realistic models of consumer and firm behaviour. This paper argues that these new theoretical and empirical findings are largely ignored in applied work and policy applications in environmental economics. As the only heterodox school of economics focusing on the human economy both as a social system and as one imbedded in the biophysical universe, and thus both holistic and scientifically based, ecological economics is poised to play a leading role in recasting the scope and method of economic science. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gowdy & Jon D. Erickson, 2005. "The approach of ecological economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 207-222, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:29:y:2005:i:2:p:207-222
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/bei033
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