Population and Environment

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 139–156

Changing Industrial Metabolism: Methods for Analysis


  • Marco A. Janssen
    • Department of Spatial EconomicsVrije Universiteit
  • Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh
    • Vrije Universiteit
  • Pieter J. H. van Beukering
    • Vrije Universiteit
  • Rutger Hoekstra
    • Vrije Universiteit

DOI: 10.1023/A:1012823602976

Cite this article as:
Janssen, M.A., van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., van Beukering, P.J.H. et al. Population and Environment (2001) 23: 139. doi:10.1023/A:1012823602976


Research in the field of “industrial metabolism” traditionally has been focused on measuring and describing physical flows of economic systems. The “metabolism” of economic systems, however, changes over time, and measuring material flows is insufficient to understand this process. Understanding the relation between economic activities and material flows can help to unravel the socio-economic causes of these physical flows. Three issues are addressed: The importance of spatial scales and trade flows, empirical analysis of relations between economic development and material flows, and treatment of behaviour of and interactions between stakeholders. For each of these issues, methods for analysis are suggested.

industrial metabolism material flows structural decomposition

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001