The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics

The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics
Fix, Blair. (2019). BioPhysical Economics and Resource Quality. Vol. 4. No. 1. January. pp. 1-15. (Article - Journal; 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 the 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.

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Publication Type

Article - Journal


aggregation capital stock GDP natural capital sustainability indexes


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

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

05 Jan 2019 03:46

Last Modified

10 Jan 2019 19:20


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