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Natural Science Constraints in Environmental and Resource Economics. Method and Problem

Baumgärtner, Stefan

German Title: Naturwissenschaftliche Beschränkungen in der Umwelt- und Ressourcenökonomik. Methode und Problem

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Most, if not all, environmental problems of our time have their origin in human economic activity. In order to better understand how environmental problems arise from economic activity and how they may be solved in a sustainable manner, one needs to combine scientific expertise from the natural sciences and from economics. For, it is the domain of the natural sciences to analyze nature', while economics studies the economy'. In this study, I contribute to this interdisciplinary task in a threefold manner: (i) In Part I, I employ concepts and methods from thermodynamics in order to study how this natural science puts constraints on the transformation of energy and matter in the economic process of production. (ii) In Part II, I analyze the problem of biodiversity loss and conservation by combining concepts and methods from ecology and economics to study coupled ecological-economic systems. (iii) An underlying interest throughout this study is the methodological question of how to integrate concepts and methods from the natural sciences, such as thermodynamics or ecology, and the social sciences, such as economics. The approaches in Parts I and II are complementary in that they follow different methodological approaches to interdisciplinary integration of natural science constraints into environmental and resource economics - method-orientation and problem-orientation, respectively.

Item Type: Habilitation
Supervisor: Faber, Prof. Dr. Malte
Date of thesis defense: 24 May 2006
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2006 10:27
Date: 2006
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
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