Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B29, B49, Q00, Q59

Key Words

Assumptions, Ecological Economics, Environmental Economics, Methodological Foundations


This inquiry seeks to establish that the field within the Discipline of Economic Science known as Ecological Economics is based upon assumptions and methodological foundations that differ from the field of Environmental Economics. It shall be argued that Environmental Economics did not emerge as the result of a new shift in economic thinking, but rather formed around a reorientation of standard neoclassical assumptions. This was undertaken in an effort to address environmental issues emerging several decades back. In contrast, it shall be argued that the field of Ecological Economics has brought to the Economics Discipline an appreciation for novel assumptions and a distinct methodology that differs fundamentally from Neoclassical Economics and, in fact, challenges many of the neoclassical assumptions that form the foundation for Environmental Economics. This inquiry seeks to establish that while leaders in the field of Ecological Economics have succeeded in their efforts to adapt new assumptions and methods that have diverged from those found in Neoclassical Economics, the field of Environmental Economics has failed to shift away from the neoclassical method and related assumptions, and this can be argued to have contributed to the ongoing mismanagement of the world's environmental resources.


© 2022 Audrey Demeaux

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