The use of economic modeling techniques in industrial ecology research provides distinct advantages over the customary approach, which focuses on the physical description of material flows. The thirteen chapters of Economics of Industrial Ecology integrate the natural science and technological dimensions of industrial ecology with a rigorous economic approach and by doing so contribute to the advancement of this emerging field. Using a variety of modeling techniques (including econometric, partial and general equilibrium, and input-output models) and applying them to a wide range of materials, economic sectors, and countries, these studies analyze the driving forces behind material flows and structural changes in order to offer guidance for economically and socially feasible policy solutions.
After a survey of concepts and relevant research that provides a useful background for the chapters that follow, the book presents historical analyses of structural change from statistical and decomposition approaches; a range of models that predict structural change on the national and regional scale under different policy scenarios; two models that can be used to analyze waste management and recycling operations; and, adopting the perspective of local scale, an analysis of the dynamics of eco-industrial parks in Denmark and the Netherlands. The book concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of an economic approach to industrial ecology.