Ecological Macroeconomic Models: Assessing Current Developments

Article English OPEN
Hardt, L ; O'Neill, DW (2017)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Ecological Economics, volume 134, pages 198-211 (issn: 0921-8009)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.12.027
  • Subject: Environmental Science(all) | Economics and Econometrics

Our society faces a dilemma. While continued economic growth is ecologically unsustainable, low or negative rates of economic growth are accompanied by adverse social impacts. Hence there is a need for macroeconomic tools that can help identify socially sustainable post-growth pathways. The emerging field of ecological macroeconomics aims to address this need and features a number of new macroeconomic modelling approaches. This article provides (1) a review of modelling developments in ecological macroeconomics, based on the literature and interviews with researchers, and (2) an analysis of how the different models incorporate policy themes from the post-growth literature. Twenty-two ecological macroeconomic models were analysed and compared to eight policy themes. It was found that environmental interactions and the monetary system were treated most comprehensively. Themes of income inequality, work patterns, indicators of well-being, and disaggregated production were addressed with less detail, while alternative business models and cross-scale interactions were hardly addressed. Overall, the combination of input-output analysis with stock-flow consistent modelling was identified as a promising avenue for developing macroeconomic models for a post-growth economy. However, due to the wide interpretation of what “the economy” entails, future research will benefit from employing a range of approaches.
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