Quantitative Eco–nomics

How sustainable are our economies?

  • Authors
  • Peter Bartelmus

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxx
  2. Questions, Questions, Questions

  3. Assessing the Physical Base of the Economy

  4. Greening the Economic Accounts

  5. Analysis – Modelling Sustainability

  6. Strategic Outlook

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 275-329

About this book


Fuzzy vision, anecdotal evidence, media hype and rhetoric characterise the debate of environment and economy. At the same time the cornucopian concept of sustainable development enjoys undiminished popularity. Hardly any publication or proclamation on the environment can resist summoning the paradigm.

"Quantitative Eco-nomics" cuts through the fog of vision and advocacy by comparing and applying new quantitative tools of both environmental and ecological economics. Environmental accounts and empirical analyses provide operational concepts and measures of the sustainability of economic performance and growth. They facilitate rational and compatible environmental and economic policies.

This thought-provoking text raises doubts, however, about the measurability of sustainable development. Has the paradigm run its course? The answer is a guarded ‘yes’ – guarded because the concept still carries considerable environmental goodwill. At the same time the opaque concept fosters contradictory policy advice, or worse, inaction. Do we need zero- or accelerated economic growth? Should we reduce conspicuous consumption or enjoy spending as we see fit? Will rules and regulation or adjusted markets prevent environmental disaster?

"Quantitative Eco-nomics" does not brush over open questions, but puts them in perspective. It ends as it began with "questions, questions, questions". The objective is to foster a dialogue between pessimistic environmentalists and more optimistic economists, and furthermore to bring these concepts and tools to the attention of classrooms, boardrooms and offices.

‘This is a book that must be on the desk of every policy maker, public or private and should be studied by any university student.’

Mostafa K. Tolba, President, International Center for Environment and Development (ICED) and former Executive Director (1974 – 1992), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

‘This is an important book and should be read by everybody who wants to understand the crucial challenge of environmental sustainability. It is a timely and extremely relevant contribution.’

Robert Repetto, Professor in the Practice of Economics and Sustainable Development, Yale University

‘[This] book is an extremely valuable contribution to the still evolving basic literature on the relationship between economy and environment.’

Bedrich Moldan, Professor at Charles University of Prague Environment Centre, Senator of the Czech Parliament

‘…The time has come for different countries to reach a quick consensus on sustainable development…This book will serve as a bridge, facilitating the communication between mainstream economists, ecological economists, environmental researchers, government officials, entrepreneurs and ordinary people.’

Jianguo Qi, Professor at the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences


Corporate Social Responsibility Global Governance Sustainable Development development ecological economics environmental economics environmental ethics environmental indicators green accounting production statistics sustainability

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking