Contemporary economics and contraindications for climate maladies: Lessons from environmental macroeconomics

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 21 July 2020


Online via Zoom


Dodo J. Thampapillai, Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy

This paper provides an alternative basis for analysing economic growth and the consequent perpetuation of climate malaise. I contend that the effectiveness of approaches based on standard frameworks of production and factor utilisation, regardless their integration with scientific and related information, is likely to be constrained. This paper considers a special production function for macroeconomics to explicitly include the stock of environmental capital as an argument alongside manufactured capital and labour. Being distinct from the production functions that underlie the work of Nobel Laureates William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, the application of this function can provide different results. For example, extending the reformulated production function to the context of the Romer Model suggests clear possibilities of the need for de-growth in selected economies. Besides, the Nordhausian claims of “optimal pollution” and “optimal climate change” could constitute a contraindication. If the term “optimality” must be used, then the optimal quantity is zero pollution and zero climate change!

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