Post Keynesian and Ecological Economics
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Post Keynesian and Ecological Economics

Confronting Environmental Issues

Edited by Richard P.F. Holt, Steven Pressman and Clive L. Spash

It is argued that mainstream economics, with its present methodological approach, is limited in its ability to analyze and develop adequate public policy to deal with current environmental problems and sustainable development. This book provides an alternative approach. Building on the strengths and insights of Post Keynesian and ecological economics and incorporating cutting edge work in such areas as economic complexity, bounded rationality and socio-economic dynamics, the contributors to this book provide a trans-disciplinary approach to deal with a broad range of environmental concerns.
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Chapter 6: Combining Post Keynesian, Ecological and Institutional Economics Perspectives

Arild Vatn


Arild Vatn INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to conduct a comparison of the three heterodox economic schools of Post Keynesian, ecological and institutional economics, and on this basis highlight a set of research areas where there seems to be some common ground. The broader aim is to support a process of developing a strong and coherent alternative to the dominant neoclassical perceptive of the behavior of human agents and the functioning of economic systems. The focus of this book is to develop ideas at the intersection between Post Keynesian and ecological economics. In this chapter I also add some insights from institutional theory. This has a double motivation. First of all, including institutional perspectives will enrich the synthesis as it fills some important gaps in the cross-section between the other two positions. Secondly, ecological economics is a diverse heterogeneous school. Including the institutionalist perspective in the chapter provides a clarification of which ‘kind’ ecological economics this author considers the most promising. Certainly, I am not the first to look for links across these schools. We see several efforts to compare or combine perspectives from Post Keynesian and institutional economics, for example, Keller (1983), Tymoigne (2003) and Ferrari-Filho and Cormago Conceicao (2004). Similarly, there is a substantial amount of literature produced by people who look at the interconnection between institutional and ecological economics, for example, Söderbaum (1994, 2000), Bromley (1998), Costanza et al. (2001), Lehtonen (2004), Paavola and Adger (2005) and Vatn (2005a, 2005b). Finally, there is a...

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