Material basis of the economy

UCL and Kiln visualising every ship on earth in 2012

See shipmap for more of that.

See also:

To mention: Exergy, emergy, various footprint measures. The mysteries of trade: why do countries who export cars also import cars?

What is growth? Do we have to burn petroleum to have it? Is it bad if we don’t have it? If we have it without petroleum, will that be through privatising other intangible resources, such as intellectual property, privacy, relationships, freedoms, genomes? Is that tradeoff worth it? Or even possible?

To Read

  • Tunzelmann and the Nature of Social Savings from Steam

  • Cost of Computing in Coal

  • Brian Arthur’s The second economy

  • Are we replacing robots with Chinese people?

  • The Product Space and The Wealth of Nations

    International trade data is taken from Feenstra, Lipsey, Deng, Ma, & Mo’s “World Trade Flows: 1962-2000” dataset. This dataset consists of imports and exports both by country of origin and by destination, with products disaggregated to the SITC revision 4, four-digit level. The authors build this dataset using the United Nations COMTRADE database. The authors cleaned that dataset by calculating exports using the records of the importing country, when available, assuming that data on imports is more accurate than data from exporters. This is likely, as imports are more tightly controlled in order to enforce safety standards and collect customs fees. In addition, the authors correct the UN data for flows to and from the United States, Hong Kong, and China. We focus only on export data, and do not disaggregate by country of destination. More information on this dataset can be found in NBER Working Paper #11040, and the dataset itself is available at www.nber.org/data and http://cid.econ.ucdavis.edu/data/undata/undata.html

Aral, Sinan, Lev Muchnik, and Arun Sundararajan. 2009. “Distinguishing Influence-Based Contagion from Homophily-Driven Diffusion in Dynamic Networks.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (51): 21544–9. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0908800106.

Behrens, Arno, Stefan Giljum, Jan Kovanda, and Samuel Niza. 2007. “The Material Basis of the Global Economy: Worldwide Patterns of Natural Resource Extraction and Their Implications for Sustainable Resource Use Policies.” Ecological Economics, Special Section - Ecosystem Services and Agriculture Ecosystem Services and Agriculture, 64 (2): 444–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.02.034.

Brook, Barry W., Erle C. Ellis, Michael P. Perring, Anson W. Mackay, and Linus Blomqvist. 2013. “Does the Terrestrial Biosphere Have Planetary Tipping Points?” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28 (7): 396–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.016.

Brown, James G, James F Gillooly, Andrew P Allen, Van M Savage, and Geoffrey B West. 2004. “Toward a Metabolic Theory of Ecology.” Ecology 85: 1771.

Bustos, Sebastián, Charles Gomez, Ricardo Hausmann, and César A. Hidalgo. 2012. “The Dynamics of Nestedness Predicts the Evolution of Industrial Ecosystems.” PLoS One 7 (11): e49393. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049393.

Caldarelli, Guido, Matthieu Cristelli, Andrea Gabrielli, Luciano Pietronero, Antonio Scala, and Andrea Tacchella. 2012. “A Network Analysis of Countries’ Export Flows: Firm Grounds for the Building Blocks of the Economy.” PLOS ONE 7 (10): e47278. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047278.

Caspermeyer, J. 2015. “New Grand Tree of Life Study Shows a Clock-Like Trend in the Emergence of New Species and Diversity.” Molecular Biology and Evolution 32 (4): 1113–3. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/25824096.

Clarke, A. 2004. “Is There a Universal Temperature Dependence of Metabolism?” Functional Ecology 18: 252–56. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00842.x.

Cleveland, Cutler J, Robert K Kaufmann, and David I Stern. 2000. “Aggregation and the Role of Energy in the Economy.” Ecological Economics 32 (2): 301–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(99)00113-5.

Cristelli, Matthieu, Andrea Tacchella, and Luciano Pietronero. 2015. “The Heterogeneous Dynamics of Economic Complexity.” PLoS ONE 10 (2): e0117174. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117174.

Galaz, Victor, Johan Gars, Fredrik Moberg, Björn Nykvist, and Cecilia Repinski. 2015. “Why Ecologists Should Care About Financial Markets.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30 (10): 571–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.06.015.

Georgescu-Roegen, Nicholas. 1999. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. New York; Cambridge, MA; London, UK: ToExcel; Harvard University Press.

Gowdy, J, and S Mesner. 1998. “The Evolution of Georgescu-Roegen’s Bioeconomics.” Review of Social Economy 56 (2): 136–56.

Hammond, Allen, Albert Adriaanse, Stefan Bringzeu, Yuichi Moriguchi, Eric Rodenburg, Donald Rogich, and Helmut Schütz. 1997. Resource Flows: The Material Basis of Industrial Economies. World Resources Institute Washington, DC.

Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, and L Hunter Lovins. 2000. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Back Bay Books.

Hidalgo, C. A., B. Klinger, A.-L. Barabási, and R. Hausmann. 2007. “The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations.” Science 317 (5837): 482–87. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1144581.

Hidalgo, César A., and Ricardo Hausmann. 2009. “The Building Blocks of Economic Complexity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (26): 10570–5. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0900943106.

Hirshleifer, Jack. 1978. “Competition, Cooperation, and Conflict in Economics and Biology.” American Economic Review 68 (2): 238–43. http://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v68y1978i2p238-43.html.

Judson, Olivia P. 2017. “The Energy Expansions of Evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 1 (April): 0138. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0138.

Kali, Raja, Javier Reyes, Joshua McGee, and Stuart Shirrell. 2013. “Growth Networks.” Journal of Development Economics 101 (March): 216–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.11.004.

Klimek, Peter, Ricardo Hausmann, and Stefan Thurner. 2012. “Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data.” PLoS ONE 7 (6): e38924. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038924.

Kümmel, Reiner. 1982. “The Impact of Energy on Industrial Growth.” Energy 7 (2): 189–203. https://doi.org/10.1016/0360-5442(82)90044-5.

Levina, Anna, and J. Michael Herrmann. 2013. “The Abelian Distribution.” Stochastics and Dynamics 14 (03): 1450001. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0219493714500014.

Li, Zenghu. 2014. “Path-Valued Branching Processes and Nonlocal Branching Superprocesses.” The Annals of Probability 42 (1): 41–79. https://doi.org/10.1214/12-AOP759.

Morowitz, Harold, and D Eric Smith. 2007. “Energy Flow and the Organization of Life.” Complexity 13 (1): 51–59. https://doi.org/10.1002/cplx.20191.

Moyle. 2000. “The Ecology of Trade.” Journal of Bioeconomics 2: 139.

Odum, Howard T. 1973. “Energy, Ecology, and Economics.” Ambio 2 (6): 220–27. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4312030.

———. 1988. “Self-Organization, Transformity, and Information.” Science, 1988.

Olszewski, and D Thomas. 2012. “Persistence of High Diversity in Non-Equilibrium Ecological Communities: Implications for Modern and Fossil Ecosystems.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 279 (1727): 230–36. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0936.

Pezzey, John C V, and John M Anderies. 2003. “The Effect of Subsistence on Collapse and Institutional Adaptation in Population-Resource Societies.” Journal of Development Economics 72: 299–320. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3878(03)00078-6.

Sood, Vishal, Myléne Mathieu, Amer Shreim, Peter Grassberger, and Maya Paczuski. 2010. “Interacting Branching Process as a Simple Model of Innovation.” Physical Review Letters 105 (17): 178701. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.178701.

Sornette, Didier, and Peter Cauwels. 2012. “The Illusion of the Perpetual Money Machine.” SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 2191509. Notenstein Academy White Paper Series. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.2833.

Straatman, Bas, Roger White, and Wolfgang Banzhaf. 2008. “An Artificial Chemistry-Based Model of Economies.” Artificial Life 11: 592.

Strogatz, Steven H. 2001. “Exploring Complex Networks.” Nature 410: 268–76. https://doi.org/10.1038/35065725.

Tacchella, Andrea, Matthieu Cristelli, Guido Caldarelli, Andrea Gabrielli, and Luciano Pietronero. 2012. “A New Metrics for Countries’ Fitness and Products’ Complexity.” Scientific Reports 2 (October). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep00723.

Tainter, Joseph A. 1995. “Sustainability of Complex Societies.” Futures 27: 397–407. https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-3287(95)00016-P.

Tainter, Joseph A, Allen, Amanda Little, and Thomas W Hoekstra. 2003. “Resource Transitions and Energy Gain: Contexts of Organization.” Conservation Ecology 7. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol7/iss3/art4/.

Vitali, Stefania, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston. 2011. “The Network of Global Corporate Control.” PLoS ONE 6 (10): e25995. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025995.

Whitfield, John. 2004. “Ecology’s Big, Hot Idea.” PloS Biology 2: –440.