The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological Economics

The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological Economics
Fix, Blair. (2018). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2018/03. May. pp. 1-16. (Article - Working Paper; English).


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Abstract or Brief Description

This article discusses the aggregation problem and its implications for ecological economics. The aggregation problem consists of a simple dilemma: when adding heterogeneous phenomena together, the observer must choose the unit of analysis. The dilemma is that this choice affects the resulting measurement. This means that aggregate measurements are dependent on one’s goals, and on underlying theory. Using simple examples, this article shows how the aggregation problem complicates tasks such as calculating indexes of aggregate quantity, and how it undermines attempts to find a singular metric for complex issues such as sustainability.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


aggregation GDP capital stock natural capital sustainability indexes


BN Methodology
BN Data & Statistics
BN Ecology & Environment
BN Growth

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

31 May 2018 21:57

Last Modified

31 May 2018 22:26


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