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Conceptual and political foundations for examining the interaction between nature and economy

Faber, Malte ; Frick, Marc

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to contribute to an innovative agenda in the field of Environmental Economics. The paper focusses on a conceptual and political perspective on the interactions between nature and economy. Section 1 states that Environmental Economics has to consider three fields: nature, justice and the role of time. To operationalize this claim, we introduce fundamental concepts such as entropy, joint production, ignorance, evolution, absolute scarcity, responsibility and homo politicus and explain them in Section 2. These concepts are applied in Section 3 using a historical example, namely the soda-chlorine industry, extending over a period of about three centuries. The lessons taken from this economic, environmental and political evolution are outlined in Section 4. In Section 5, we apply the concept of responsibility to address political aspects dealt with when examining the interplay between nature and economy. In our outlook in Section 6, we argue that these concepts and further concepts do not form a hierarchically structured system. Instead they are conceived as a network of interdependent concepts that reference each other but also remain categorically distinct from one another.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0659
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2019 15:32
Date: February 2019
Number of Pages: 24
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: absolute and relative scarcity, evolution, joint production, ignorance, responsibility, power of judgment, homo politicus
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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