The Material Intensity of Growth: Implications from the Human Scale of Production

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2016 (EN)
The Material Intensity of Growth: Implications from the Human Scale of Production (EN)

Bithas, Kostas (EN)
Kalimeris, Panos (EN)

School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies, MSc in Energy Law, Business, Regulation and Policy (EL)

Contemporary empirical studies on the resource intensity of the economic process provide evidence of a gradual de-linking between natural resources use and eco- nomic growth. Resource intensity is evaluated through the Domestic Material Consump- tion/Gross Domestic Product (DMC/GDP) ratio, defined as the material intensity index. Trajectories of this ratio support the optimistic view that economic output is becoming progressively less dependent on resource flows, hence GDP is gradually dematerialized. The present study asserts that the DMC/GDP indicator fails to take into account the biophysical properties of the production process which define the resource requirements of the economy. The present study proposes the ‘‘resources required for producing one unit of GDP per Capita (Income)’’, as an alternative indicator for evaluating the resource requirements of the economy. The resource requirement, evaluated at the level of income, approximates the human scale of production; goods should embody certain biophysical properties in order to satisfy human needs. The trajectories of DMC/Income index for global growth rejects the vision of a dematerialized growth and the de-linkage of the economy from natural resources (EN)


Decoupling (EN)
Natural resources scarcity (EN)
DMC/Income (EN)
Dematerialization (EN)
Economic development (EN)
Sustainable development (EN)

Διεθνές Πανεπιστήμιο της Ελλάδος (EL)
International Hellenic University (EN)

Social Indicators Research (EN)


Springer Netherlands (EN)

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