The Difference Between Neoclassical Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics and Natural Resource Economics

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Explain the difference between Neoclassical Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and
Natural Resource Economics.
The three approaches originate from three different schools of thought. Broadly, Neoclassical
Environmental Economics (NEE) is the opposite of the Ecological Economics (EE), and Natural
Resource Economics (NRE) lies somewhere between them. Let’s begin with the opposing views.
Field states, ‘Environmental Economics is the application of the principles of economics to the study of how environmental resources are managed. (Field & Field 2013:2). In gist, NEE is an
Anthropospheric view of the environment through micro and macro-economic principles and sociopolitical influences that ignores the other spheres of life. The environment, is a subsystem of economics and has no intrinsic value. It is merely a factor of production, and only manufactured goods/services have an intrinsic value. EE, on the other hand, is a holistic approach, broader in scope, concerned with the supply and demand of energy and matter within the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere - where contrastingly, the Anthroposphere is the subsystem. EE claims that NEE is totally dependent on the environment and that residuals and pollution are disruptive to natural processes and diminishes the earth’s bio-capacity.
Environmental Economics’ primary focus is to manage the environment to supply services and goods in exchange for money (MO 2015 quoting Tietenberg 2014:7) whereas EE serves a broader spectrum of life and its non-living components (e.g. a river) and the processes that support life (e.g. oxygen cycle). NEE is positive economics. It is unsustainable and short-run oriented. Supporters believe that technology and innovation will overcome diminishing resources which has raised strong opposition among Deep Ecology supporters. EE is normative economics…...

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