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Time for a Paradigm Shift: From Economic Growth andPrice-Making Markets to Social Ecological Economics

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  • Spash, Clive L.

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Abstract

Ecological economics has ontological foundations that inform it as a paradigm both biophysically and socially. It stands in strong opposition to mainstream thought on the operations of the economy and society. The core arguments deconstruct and oppose both growth and price-making market paradigms. However, in contradiction of these theoretical foundations, ecological economists can be found who call upon neoclassical economic theory as insightful, price-making and capitalist markets as socially justified means of allocation and economic growth as achieving progress and development. The more radical steady-state and post-growth/degrowth movements are shown to include confused and conflicted stances in relation to the mainstream hegemonic paradigms. Ecological economics personally challenges those trained in mainstream theory to move beyond their orthodox education and leave behind the flawed theories and concepts that contribute to supporting systems that create social, ecological and economic crises. This paper makes explicit the paradigmatic struggle of the past thirty years and the need to wipe away mainstream apologetics, pragmatic conformity and ill-conceived postmodern pluralism. It details the core paradigmatic conflict and specifies the alternative social ecological economic paradigm along with a new research agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Spash, Clive L., 2019. "Time for a Paradigm Shift: From Economic Growth andPrice-Making Markets to Social Ecological Economics," SRE-Discussion Papers 2019/07, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wus009:7288
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Paradigm shift; Economic growth; Markets; Price; Value theory; Social ecological economics; Steady-state economics; Degrowth; Post-Growth; Capitalism; Neoclassical economics; Socialism;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth

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