Ambivalent joint production and the natural environment: an economic and thermodynamic analysis

Research output: Books and anthologiesBook


Many environmental damages are caused by substances which come into existence as undesired joint outputs in the production of desired goods. Whether an output is desired or not, however, is not an inherent property of the substance itself but depends on the context of production. This book studies the role of a potential ambivalence of joint outputs for the description and analysis of dynamic economy-environment interactions and for the design of efficient environmental policy. This is done in an interisciplinary way: methods and insights from thermodynamics, engineering sciences, economics and the methodology of economics are combined in order to develop an encompassing view on the complex and multivarious phenomenon of ambivalent joint production. By using the concept of joint production as a unifying framework for describing and analyzing the relations between human economic activity and the surrounding natural environment this book contributes to a critical and constructive assessment of the traditional environmental economic approach.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Number of pages321
ISBN (Print)978-3-7908-1290-9, 3790812900
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-57658-4
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2000
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameContributions to Economics
PublisherPhysica-Verlag Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)1431-1933
ISSN (Electronic)2197-7178

    Research areas

  • Sustainability sciences, Management & Economics - adam smith, alfred marshall, johann heinrich von Thünen, Karl Marx, duality, economic theory, economics, environment, environmental policy, equilibrium, general equilibrium, Modeling, strategy, thermodynamics, Welfare