Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 617–622 | Cite as

Spatial Welfare Economics Versus Ecological Footprint: A Sensitivity Analysis Introducing Strong Sustainability



The aim of this paper is a sensitivity analysis with the core-periphery model of ‘new economic geography’ put forward in Grazi et al. (Environ Resour Econ 38:135–153, 2007). This model comprises interregional trade, agglomeration advantages and resource (land) use or environmental externalities. Grazi et al. (2007, GBR) compare a social welfare (SW) indicator with the ecological footprint (EF) indicator for measuring spatial sustainability of a set of land use configurations. Their main result is that the SW and the EF indicator can yield completely different rankings and only for extreme parameterizations of environmental externalities the rankings coincide. We adapt the model by interpreting total natural land as a resource constraint and differentiate between weak and strong sustainability. In a sensitivity analysis we show that the main results of GBR (2007) correspond to the case of weak sustainability in our adapted model version. In the case of strong sustainability our adapted model version shows the same welfare rankings for both indicators without the extreme parameterization that is necessary to obtain the same results in the original GBR (2007) model.


Ecological footprint Social welfare measures Weak and strong sustainability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austrian Institute of Economic ResearchViennaAustria
  2. 2.Joanneum Research, Centre for Economic and Innovation ResearchViennaAustria

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