Applying a Biophysical Economics Approach to Developing Countries

  • Charles A. S. Hall
  • Kent Klitgaard


It seems imperative that we as individuals who care about the human condition and about nature must create a new way to undertake developmental economics and perhaps economics in general. The reasons this is so important have been reviewed in previous chapters and include our dissatisfaction with the intellectual foundations of conventional economic models used in development and of the results that have occurred with their use, the general sense of many development economists themselves that conventional economics has failed, the need to do something that will work, the concern that most knowledgeable people have that the future, and especially the future of most developing nations, will be much more constrained by the «end of cheap oil,» and the need to protect whatever nature is left. We try to develop such a model in this chapter, summarizing certain approaches and even successes of the past, and use a biophysical basis to try to generate a synthesis to help the reader. We are not foolish enough to believe that we can in one fell swoop cure all the economic problems that generations of traditional economists have not been able to, but we believe that we do provide a useful basis here for beginning that process and for generating useful results now for field workers.


  1. 1.
    Hall, C.A.S. (editor, Gregoire Leclerc and Carlos Leon, associate Editers). 2000. Quantifying sustainable development: The future of topical Economies. Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    We refer the reader to the following web sites as good examples of other definitions of ecological economics and how ecological economics can actually be done.;;;
  3. 3.
    World-wide Fund for Nature International (WWF). 2004. Living Planet report 2004. Global Footprint Network, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, WWF, Gland Switzerland.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Herendeen, R., and C. Bullard. 1975. The energy costs of goods and services. 1963 and 1967. Energy Policy 3: 268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bullard, C.W., B. Hannon, and R.A. Herendeen. 1975. Energy flow through the US economy. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hannon, B. 1981. Analysis of the energy cost of economic activities: 1963 2000. Energy research group doc. No. 316. Urbana: University of Illinois.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hall, C.A.S., C.J. Cleveland, and R. Kaufmann. 1984. Energy and resource quality: The ecology of the economic process. New York: Wiley Interscience. 577 pp. (Second Edition. University Press of Colorado).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cleveland, C.J. 2004. The encyclopedia of energy. Elsevier (www.Carnegie-Mellon).
  9. 9.
    Odum, H.T. 1996. Environmental accounting emergy and environmental decision making. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brown, M. 2004. Energy quality, emergy, transformity: The contributions of H.T. Odum to quantifying and understanding systems. In Through the macroscope: The legacy of H.T, eds. M. Brown and C.A. S. Hall. Odum. Ecological Modelling, Elsevier Amsterdam, special issue: Vol. 178.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brown, M., and R. Herendeen. 1996. Embodied energy analysis and emergy analysis: A review. Ecological Economics: A Comparative Review 19: 219–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Herendeen, R. 2004. Energy analysis and emergy anlysis – a comparison. In Through the macroscope: The legacy of H.T, Odum, M. Brown and C.A.S. Hall eds. Ecological Modelling, special issue: Volume 178: 227–238. Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brown, M., M. Wackernagel, and C.A.S. Hall. 2000. Comparable estimates of sustainability: Economic, resource base, ecological footprint and Emergy. In Quantifying sustainable development: The future of topical economies, ed. C.A.S. Hall, 695–714. San Diego: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Foran, B., M. Lenzen, C. Dey, and M. Bilek. 2005. Integrating sustainable chain management with triple bottom line accounting I Integrating sustainable chain management with triple bottom line accounting. Ecological Economics 52: 143–157. 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Detwiler, P., and C.A.S. Hall. 1988. Tropical forests and the global carbon cycle. Science 239: 42–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    LeClerc, G., and Charles Hall, eds. 2008. Making development work: A new role for science. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kroeger, T., and D. Montanye. 2000. An assessment of the effectiveness of structural adjustment policies in Costa Rica. Chpt. 24. In Quantifying sustainable development: The future of topical Economies, ed. C.A.S. Hall. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Barreteau, O, M. Antona, P. d'Aquino, S. Aubert, S. Boissau, F. Bousquet, W. Daré, M. Etienne, C. Le Page, R. Mathevet, G. Trébuil, J. Weber. 2003. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 6(1) (
  19. 19.
    Hallock, J., P. Tharakan, C. Hall, M. Jefferson, and W. Wu. 2004. Forecasting the availability and diversity of the geography of oil supplies. Energy 30: 2017–2201; Hallock Jr., J. L., W. Wu, C. A.S. Hall, M. Jefferson. 2014. Forecasting the limits to the availability and diversity of global conventional oil supply: Validation. Energy 64: 130–153.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ahmed, N. 2017. Failing states, collapsing systems: Biophysical triggers of political violence. Springer, New York.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hall, C.A.S., H. Tian, Y. Qi, G. Pontius, and J. Cornell. 1995. Modeling spatial and temporal patterns of tropical land use change. Journal of Biogeography 22: 753–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pontius, R.G., Jr., J. Cornell, and C.A.S. Hall. 1995. Modeling the spatial pattern of land-use change with GEOMOD2: Application and validation for Costa Rica. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 85: 191–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Swartz, P. 1996. The art of the long view: Planning for the future in an uncertain world, 272p. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles A. S. Hall
    • 1
  • Kent Klitgaard
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science & ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Wells CollegeAuroraUSA

Personalised recommendations