Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics
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Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

This major reference book comprises specially commissioned surveys in environmental and resource economics written by an international team of experts. Authoritative yet accessible, each entry provides a state-of-the-art summary of key areas that will be invaluable to researchers, practitioners and advanced students.
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Chapter 67: Environmental and Ecological Economics Perspectives

R.K. Turner


~ ~~ 67 Environmental and ecological economics per spect ives R.K r y T r e er u n r 1. Introduction While it can be argued that foundational disagreements exist between environmental and ecological economists and that therefore two paradigms are in direct competition with each other (Norton, 1995), this chapter stresses the importance of ensuring a pluralistic and multidisciplinary (potentially leading to interdisciplinary insights) approach to a joint ecological-economic research agenda (Norgaard, 1985). Several writers have sought to show that despite differences in emphasis between resource, environmental and ecological economics (Turner et al., 1997), and in experimental methodologies and philosophies between economics and ecology (Shogren and Nowell, 1992), the joint research and experimental agenda offers significant opportunities for the integration of economics and ecology. Such an integration is a key element in any strategy that seeks to improve the understanding and management of co-evolving interrelated complex ecological and socioeconomic systems (Norgaard, 1981). Indeed ecological economics has recently been defined as an overarching mode of inquiry encompassing both resource economics with its foundations in population ecology and environmental economics with links to systems ecology (Dasgupta, 1996). It is then possible to integrate problems of resource management with problems of environmental pollution and degradation, within the context of the underpinning environment as the provider of an extensive and diverse set of services and capital stock. Nevertheless, the hypothesis that foundational differences do exist between ecological and mainstream economics finds stronger support in the realms of philosophy, ethics and social policy. The differences...

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