Ecological Macreconomics: Introduction and Review
Armon Rezai () and
Sigrid Stagl ()
Ecological Economic Papers from WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
The Great Recession of the past years has brought macroeconomics back. Many of the recession's phenomena, causes and consequences alike, cannot be understood using solely microeconomic decisionmaking. Over the past decades the economics profession has pursued the implications of rational choices and enshrined them in so-called "micro foundations" as a hallmark of modern economic theory. By focusing on the choices and actions of individual consumers, firms, or the government, however, one can easily miss important determinants of the economic system which only arise at the meso- or the macroeconomic levels where institutions, coordination, and complexity in general are important and sometimes even can take on a life of their own. To lesser extent, ecological economics has fallen prone to similar pitfalls by mostly focusing the unit of investigation on low-level, small-scale subsystems of the economy. There are, of course, notable exceptions including the early contributors Boulding and Georgescu-Roegen and the general interest of ecological economists in the field of (ecological) macroeconomics has been increasing. (authors' abstract)
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