Neoclassical economics and ecological economics are two disciplines whose relationship seems less like two ships passing in the night, and much more like two ships sailing in different oceans in different centuries. From my experience some ecological economists tend to view the neoclassical discipline as some ancient creaking tub, just barely keeping afloat in a vast sea of contradictions and absurd assumptions; patching leaks with ever more arcane mathematics. In return, I would argue that many neoclassical economists likely do not even know that ecological economics has a boat at all, such is the disparity between the two in terms of size and influence. But are the two disciplines really so different? Having been involved now in several very different groups all practicing “economics” I am not so certain. Certainly, both groups have wildly different worldviews and are prone to constructing caricatures of each other, but I have noticed that despite the heavily implied cultural divide the practitioners can be remarkably similar. Click here for more.
Martin Sers is a PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He is keenly interested in new approaches to the study of macroeconomics that consider the physical and ecological dimensions of economic activity and the limiting role these play.