Ecological Economics, Second Edition: Principles and Applications
In its first edition, this book helped to define the emerging field of ecological economics. This new edition surveys the field today. It incorporates all of the latest research findings and grounds economic inquiry in a more robust understanding of human needs and behavior. Humans and ecological systems, it argues, are inextricably bound together in complex and long-misunderstood ways. According to ecological economists, conventional economics does not reflect adequately the value of essential factors like clean air and water, species diversity, and social and generational equity. By excluding biophysical and social systems from their analyses, many conventional economists have overlooked problems of the increasing scale of human impacts and the inequitable distribution of resources. This introductory-level textbook is designed specifically to address this significant flaw in economic thought. The book describes a relatively new “transdiscipline” that incorporates insights from the biological, physical, and social sciences. It provides students with a foundation in traditional neoclassical economic thought, but places that foundation within an interdisciplinary framework that embraces the linkages among economic growth, environmental degradation, and social inequity. In doing so, it presents a revolutionary way of viewing the world. The second edition of Ecological Economics provides a clear, readable, and easy-to-understand overview of a field of study that continues to grow in importance. It remains the only stand-alone textbook that offers a complete explanation of theory and practice in the discipline.
An important and vital book
By John - January 6, 2011
Firstly I must state that this review is my interpretation, and that this book uses the prescribed language of economics . If you learnt your politics and economic understanding of how society works through the corporate media - lets face it many of us do - then this book will bowl you over. If like me you are not familiar with economic jargon it will be a challenge but everything is provided to facilitate your understanding. If you are university educated with a regulation neo-classical economics degree - as the authors are - you would no doubt be familiar with the authors and their considerable output, which includes the first edition of this book. One can understand how human society developed the present economic system with its initial focus on accounting and the appraisal of future investment and production, however this book maintains that the model has been stretched far beyond its theoretical capacities and practical applications; it enables the reader to see why. The... read more
Not there yet...
By Davis F. Taylor - November 25, 2011
I was optimistic that this text would be the first well-organized one in Ecological Economics (which I teach, at the college level). Unfortunately, the effort is still a work in progress. The authors do a decent job of presenting a wide range of material, but they do not identify and use central organizing principles the way one would find in a standard (neoclassical) economics textbook. And while the book introduces some standard features of a textbook, e.g. sidebars and boxed material, this seems more of an afterthought, and the layout is still rudimentary (e.g., all monochomatic...how hard is it to use some color?).
The authors (Daly is a giant in the field, Farley not far behind) undertook a very challenging task. It is relatively easy to write a textbook that follows in the footsteps of *many* other versions, with only minor modifications; this, on the other hand, is a pioneering effort, seeking to create a pedagogically sound structure, for a very young field, where... read more
By Tom - September 17, 2011
I have never been motivated to pick up a textbook on economics and learn the principles of the field because I was always put off by what I perceived to be a disconnect with reality. The authors captured my sentiment perfectly in the Note to Instructors. If, like me, you don't believe that: "growth will solve the economic problem, that narrow self-interest is the only dependable human motive, that technology will always find a substitute for any depleted resource, that the market can efficiently allocate all types of goods, that free markets always lead to an equilibrium balancing of supply and demand, or that the laws of thermodynamics are irrelevant to economics"--then this is the book for you!
The text is exceptionally well-written, providing a thorough grounding in the usually-ignored ecosystem services and physical limitations relevant to economics. But there is also a large dose of traditional economic theory complete with the jargon of the field. Through this... read more
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