Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B2, O44, Q32, Q57

Key Words

Ecological Economics, Entropy, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, The Entropy Law


This inquiry seeks to establish that in his book The Entropy Law and the Economic Process [1971] (2013), author Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen provides a foundation for Ecological Economics. The Entropy Law implies that the economic process is limited because it is reliant on finite natural resources, e.g., fossil fuels and minerals, as the economic process involves relying upon low-entropy natural resources in the production of consumer goods, and then results in the discarding of high-entropy waste, e.g., heat in the form of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, into the environment, eventually resulting in noticeable degradation. Notably, these ideas from Georgescu-Roegen’s work on the Entropy Law prove to be foundational for the field of Ecological Economics. Based upon the idea that the economy exists within a social system, which in turn is a subsystem of the biosphere, ecological economics views humans as being connected to the large environment, rather than separate from it. These views originate from and are closely aligned with Georgescu-Roegen’s writings on entropy and economics.


© 2022 Miriam Silverman

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Persistent Identifier