Building a micro foundation for industrial ecology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Industrial ecologists study phenomena at several distinct scales, and linking the resulting insights could advance the field. The disciplines of ecology and economics have each attempted, with partial success, to accomplish this by building a behavioral micro foundation, and industrial ecology should do the same. These fields all study evolving systems made up of autonomous individuals who operate in a largely self-interested manner, exhibit diverse behaviors, and self-organize many higher-level structures such as communities or sectors in a bottom-up fashion. Industrial ecologists should explicitly attempt to integrate empirical and normative views about agency, and more carefully distinguish between two types of agents - firms and individual humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Agency
  • Biological analogy
  • Ethology
  • Microeconomics
  • Organizational behavior
  • Transaction costs

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