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Modeling Spatial Sustainability: Spatial Welfare Economics versus Ecological Footprint

  • Fabio Grazi

    (University of Venice)

  • Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

    (Free University)

  • Piet Rietveld

    (Free University)

A spatial welfare framework for the analysis of the spatial dimensions of sustainability is developed. It incorporates agglomeration effects, interregional trade, negative environmental externalities and various land use categories. The model is used to compare rankings of spatial configurations according to evaluations based on social welfare and ecological footprint indicators. Five spatial configurations are considered for this purpose. The exercise is operationalized with the help of a two-region model of the economy that is in line with the ‘new economic geography’. Various (counter) examples show that the footprint method is not consistent with an approach aimed at maximum social welfare.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2006.5.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.5
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  1. Eberts, Randall W. & McMillen, Daniel P., 1999. "Agglomeration economies and urban public infrastructure," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 1455-1495 Elsevier.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  3. Lenzen, Manfred & Murray, Shauna A., 2001. "A modified ecological footprint method and its application to Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 229-255, May.
  4. Michael A. Toman, 1994. "Economics and "Sustainability": Balancing Trade-Offs and Imperatives," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 399-413.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:20050018 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Verbruggen, Harmen, 1999. "Spatial sustainability, trade and indicators: an evaluation of the 'ecological footprint'," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 61-72, April.
  7. Rikard Forslid & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2003. "An analytically solvable core-periphery model," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 229-240, July.
  8. Ebert, Udo & Welsch, Heinz, 2004. "Meaningful environmental indices: a social choice approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 270-283, March.
  9. McDonald, Garry W. & Patterson, Murray G., 2004. "Ecological Footprints and interdependencies of New Zealand regions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 49-67, September.
  10. van Vuuren, Detlef P. & Bouwman, Lex F., 2005. "Exploring past and future changes in the ecological footprint for world regions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 43-62, January.
  11. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  12. Jon D. Erickson & John M. Gowdy, 2000. "Resource Use, Institutions, and Sustainability: A Tale of Two Pacific Island Cultures," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(3), pages 345-354.
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