The Ecological Economists
The orthodox economics is squarely based on the institutions of individualism, economic rationality, private property and exchange (market economy). It is faced with six fundamental questions: (i) will the society organized on the principles of exchange (the market economy) stay composed or will it fall apart (the question of existence of equilibrium)?, (ii) will such an equilibrium be unique (a multiplicity of equilibria poses difficult and embarrassing questions)?, (iii) will such an equilibrium be robust (the question of stability of equilibrium)?, (iv) will such an economy (society) be efficient?, (v) will it grow or expand forever?, and (vi) will it be just? The Classical Economics answered these questions affirmatively and pleaded for the market economy based on the institution of private property and individualism. However, the socialist economists like Karl Marx and János Kornai deny any existence of equilibrium in the economy, and thus have no regard for the subsequent questions. Socialist economists reject private ownership of resources and private management of productive activities. All other economists fall between the two extremes. But all of them are anthropocentric. Thus economics is centered around the human beings only.
Ecological economics is not anthropocentric. It is a transdisciplinary field of academic research that aims to address the interdependence and coevolution of human economies and natural ecosystems over time and space. It is distinguished from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic analysis of the environment, by its treatment of the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem and its emphasis upon preserving natural capital. One survey of German economists found that ecological and environmental economics are different schools of economic thought, with ecological economists emphasizing "strong" sustainability and rejecting the proposition that natural capital can be substituted for human-made capital.
Ecological economics was founded in the works of Kenneth E. Boulding, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, Herman Daly, Robert Costanza, and others. The related field of green economics is, in general, a more politically applied form of the subject.
|The Ecological Economists|
|Kenneth E. Boulding||Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen|
|Herman Daly||Robert Costanza|
|Karl Polanyi||Graciela Chichilnisky|