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Ecological, Heterodox and Neoclassical Economics: Investigating the Differences

Author

Listed:
  • Spash, Clive L.
  • Ryan, Anthony M.

Abstract

How heterodox are ecological economists and how ecological are heterodox economists? How do both differ, if at all, from neoclassical economists when addressing environmental problems? In 2009 we probed such questions by conducting an international survey at economic conferences on the environment and sustainability. This paper reports on surveys conducted at conferences of the European Society for Ecological Economics, the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics, and the Association of Heterodox Economists. A key aim was to gain insight into the extent to which ecological economics can be described as a distinct field of research from orthodox environmental and resource economics. Conflict within the field has meant a prevalence of neoclassical articles and thought mixed in amongst more heterodox work. The question then arises are those participating in ecological economics ideologically and methodologically similar to those schools of thought falling under the heterodox economic umbrella or the orthodox? In addressing this question problems are identified with economic understanding of environmental problems and the lack of communication across schools and disciplines. Suggestions are made as to how we might, as a community of concerned scholars and activists, move forward.

Suggested Citation

  • Spash, Clive L. & Ryan, Anthony M., 2010. "Ecological, Heterodox and Neoclassical Economics: Investigating the Differences," MPRA Paper 26292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26292
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39624/2/MPRA_paper_39624.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ropke, Inge, 2004. "The early history of modern ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 293-314, October.
    2. Clive L Spash & Heinz Schandl, 2009. "Growth, the Environment and Keynes: Reflections on Two Heterodox Schools of Thought," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-01, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    3. Clive L Spash, 2009. "Social Ecological Economics," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-08, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    4. Tony Lawson, 2006. "The nature of heterodox economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 483-505, July.
    5. Clive L. Spash, 2011. "Social Ecological Economics: Understanding the Past to See the Future," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 340-375, April.
    6. Peter E. Earl, 2005. "Economics and psychology in the twenty-first century," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 909-926, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ecological economics; heterodox; neoclassical; methodology; ideology;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other

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