This groundbreaking book takes a fresh look at how environmental problems emerge from economic activity and how they may be addressed in a responsible and sustainable manner. At its centre is the concept of joint production. This captures the phenomenon whereby several effects necessarily emerge from one activity and whereby human action always entails unintended consequences. This, according to the authors, is the structural cause behind modern-day environmental problems. Combining concepts and methods from philosophy of science, systems theory, thermodynamics, economics and ethics in a truly interdisciplinary manner, the authors convincingly argue that the joint-production perspective has fundamental and far-reaching implications for the valuation of economic goods, the dynamic analysis of economy-environment interactions, and the accumulation of stocks in ecological-economic systems. Complementing the joint-production perspective with the ethical notion of responsibility, the authors develop principles of sustainable environmental policy, and give philosophical support to the precautionary principle. Four extensive case studies illustrate and deepen the approach.
With a wide range of analysis and case studies, this book will be of great interest to researchers and students in ecological economics, environmental and resource economics, environmental policy and regulation, environmental valuation, as well as environmental ethics and responsibility.
`The book makes a significant contribution to the integration of ethics and responsibility with the commonly sterile economic analysis of systems of production. . . this book will be of great interest to scholars of economic theory, environmental law, policy development and environmental ethics.' -- Sarah Burch, Environmental Politics `Baumgartner, Faber and Schiller provide a very comprehensive analysis of the thermodynamics of joint production; how joint production affects our understanding of factors of production, outputs, and markets; how economists have dealt with joint production historically; and its implications for a deeper ethics of responsibility. They also provide four very strong case studies (waste paper, chlorine, cement, and sulphuric acid production) to elaborate the general arguments made more conceptually. . . It is difficult to pick out the really strong chapters because they are all excellent. Whether reviewing joint production from a historical, conceptual, methodological, or mathematical perspective, the analysis is always clear and insightful. They break wholly new ground with their extensions to time, capital, and investment as well as to responsibility and ethics. The case studies are well developed and raise interesting questions on their own.' -- Richard Norgaard, Ecological Economics `. . . an ambitious and compelling book. . . provides a paradigmatic approach to ecological economics that - although based on familiar elements - is nonetheless fresh and original. . . It is a work that should be read by a diverse set of students and researchers interested in this field.' -- Richard B. Howarth, Environmental Values