Inderscience Publishers

Bridging the gap to economic analysis: economic tools for industrial ecology


A number of approaches have been suggested to combine MFA or LCA with economic analyses in order to build integrated models for development and evaluation of industrial ecology related strategies. This paper provides a systematic review in vision of a comprehensive modelling framework. It is focused on models using Process-based MFA either as modelling framework to integrate economic models or as sub-model within an economic modelling framework. In addition, the possible role of alternative physical models (LCA, SFA and Industry-based MFA) within an integrated modelling framework is discussed. The authors conclude that integrated models should generally include: (i) physical models, (ii) economic input-output analysis and (iii) microeconomic models of behaviour. Future development should aim at developing a 'common language' in mathematical formulation as well as underlying theoretical concepts eventually resulting in a tool box of well defined models with clearly specified interfaces.

Keywords: input output economics, material flow analysis, economically extended material flow analysis, substance flow analysis, life cycle assessment, dynamic input output models, industrial ecology

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