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Societal Metabolism of Societies: The bifurcation between Spain and Ecuador


  • Fander Falconí

    (FLACSO, Ecuador)

  • Jesús Ramos Martín

    (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)


This paper presents an application of the Multiple-Scale Integrated Assessment of Societal Metabolism to the recent economic history of Ecuador and Spain. Understanding the relationship between the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the throughput of matter and energy over time in modern societies is crucial for understanding the sustainability predicament as it is linked to economic growth. When considering the dynamics of economic development, Spain was able to take a different path than Ecuador thanks to the different characteristics of its energy budget and other key variables. This and other changes are described using economic and biophysical variables (both extensive and intensive referring to different hierarchical levels). The representation of these parallel changes (on different levels and describable only using different variables) can be kept in coherence by adopting the frame provided by MSIASM.

Suggested Citation

  • Fander Falconí & Jesús Ramos Martín, 2003. "Societal Metabolism of Societies: The bifurcation between Spain and Ecuador," UHE Working papers 2003_07, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2003_07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaufmann, Robert K., 1992. "A biophysical analysis of the energy/real GDP ratio: implications for substitution and technical change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 35-56, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vallejo, Maria Cristina, 2010. "Biophysical structure of the Ecuadorian economy, foreign trade, and policy implications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 159-169, December.


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