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  • Economy of Ancient Greece Featured Article Economy of Ancient Greece Economy of Ancient Greece

    The economy of ancient Greece is somewhat of an enigma. Given the remoteness of ancient Greek civilization, the evidence is minimal and difficulties of interpretation abound.... More »

  • Economic Cost of Weather in U.S. Featured News Article Economic Cost of Weather in U.S. Economic Cost of Weather in U.S.

    Economic Cost of Weather May Total $485 Billion in U.S. Routine weather events can add up to huge annual economic impact Everything has its price, even the weather. Research... More »

  • Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 Featured Article Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 Inclusive Wealth Report 2012

    The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)* announced at the Rio+20 Summit on June 17, 2012. the launch of the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012... More »

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Energy quality Last Updated on 2014-03-06 16:45:22 Energy quality refers to differences in the ability of a unit of energy to produce goods and services for people. The usefulness of an energy system is determined by a complex combination of physical, technical, economic, and social attributes. These include gravimetric and volumetric energy density, power density, emissions, cost and efficiency of conversion, financial risk, amenability to storage, risk to human health, and ease of transport. No single metric of an energy system captures all such attributes. It stands to reason, therefore, that a comprehensive and balanced comparison of energy technologies should employ a range of metrics, with their strengths and weaknesses duly noted. The most common way to measure energy is by heat content because all forms of energy can be completely converted to heat (Btus, joules, calories, kilowatt-hours). The aggregation of... More »
Limitations of markets Last Updated on 2013-11-18 08:49:39 There are a number of ways in which economic theory affects both the study and the practice of business. Economic theories may be offered to explain how businesses operate; students and teachers of business generally ignore some of the less realistic portions of these explanations, while making use of the more practical aspects. Economic theories are also used as justification for government policies that regulate or otherwise affect business. There is an especially relevant part of economic theory that describes how socially optimal results can come about through perfect markets that allocate resources according to society’s most preferred uses. This theory is important because it is the theoretic underpinning for policies and prescriptions that have significantly shaped the modern world. Recommendations to reduce trade restrictions; to privatize utilities, prisons, or water... More »
Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 Last Updated on 2013-10-29 21:21:58 The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)* announced at the Rio+20 Summit on June 17, 2012. the launch of the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 (IWR 2012). The report measures the wealth of nations. Download PDF | Read more about the report The report presents a new economic index, which looks beyond the traditional short term economic and development yardsticks of gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI). The Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) assesses changes in a country’s productive base, including produced, human, and natural capital over time. By taking a more holistic approach, the IWI shows governments the true state of their nation’s wealth and the sustainability of its growth. Twenty countries were assessed in the IWR 2012 over a period of 19 years (1990-2008). Together they represent more than half of... More »
Complex Systems Last Updated on 2013-10-24 15:13:11 As Science has begun to ask where the enduring features of nature come from and how they work, the answer seems to be “complex systems”.  Every kind of thing and event seems to require them.  As the science has advanced, and as the modern problems of economies and environmental conflicts emerge, a new kind of science is emerging that requires being very openly exploratory, using all the tools and combining all the related perspectives of others, to develop complex knowledge systems matching the variety of the complex system problems they respond to. Systems are storms or “like storms” in many respects, complex distributed phenomena that may be either unexpectedly eventful or highly predictable.  There’s still a rather wide range of opinion within science as to what complex systems are, even whether they are made of information or... More »
Ecological footprint Last Updated on 2013-10-22 19:06:50 Ecological Footprint is defined as a resource accounting framework for measuring human demand on the biosphere. The human economy is embedded in the biosphere and is entirely dependent on its ecological services. In consuming nature’s products and services, people have an impact on the Earth. But since nature has the ability to renew, it can cope with human demand as long as this demand stays within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. Ecological Footprint accounting documents the extent to which human economies stay within the regenerative capacity of the planet, and who uses which portion of this capacity. They answer the research question of how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is occupied by a given human activity. Such biophysical resource accounting is possible because resources and waste flows can be tracked, and most of these flows can be... More »