Joint Production and Responsibility in Ecological Economics

Joint Production and Responsibility in Ecological Economics

On the Foundations of Environmental Policy

Advances in Ecological Economics series

Stefan Baumgärtner, Malte Faber and Johannes Schiller

This groundbreaking book takes a fresh look at how environmental problems emerge from economic activity and how they may be addressed in a responsible and sustainable manner. At its centre is the concept of joint production. This captures the phenomenon whereby several effects necessarily emerge from one activity and whereby human action always entails unintended consequences. This, according to the authors, is the structural cause behind modern-day environmental problems.

Chapter 2: Conceptualising Joint Production

Stefan Baumgärtner, Malte Faber and Johannes Schiller

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics, environmental economics

Extract

∗ Introduction Joint production has many faces. The account of the analysis of joint production in the history of economic thought in Chapter 6 and the case studies in Part IV illustrate various aspects of the phenomenon which are relevant when analysing economy-environment interactions. Also the economic literature displays a large variety of different notions of joint production. In this chapter, we develop a concept of joint production that is concise and consistent, yet general enough to capture this variety of relevant aspects in one concept. Such a concept is necessary for an encompassing scientific analysis of ecological-economic systems. The chapter is organised as follows. In Section 2.2, we survey different notions of joint production that have been developed in the economic and business literature. Before introducing our own definition of joint production in Section 2.4, we discuss our science-theoretic approach to the analysis of production systems in Section 2.3. Section 2.5 concludes. 2.2 The Economic Concept of Joint Production The phenomenon of joint production has long been studied by economists (cf. Chapter 6). In the literature there is a huge number of classifications and terms referring to different types of multi-output production. Most of them are not compatible with each other, and one and the same term is used by different classification schemes to denote very different production patterns (Riebel 1981: 298). 2.2.1 Joint Production in the Economic Literature The traditional notion of joint production1 The notion of joint production prevalent...

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