Inderscience Publishers

Multi-scale integrated analysis of societal metabolism: learning from trajectories of development and building robust scenarios

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This paper presents two applications of the multi-scale integrated analysis of societal metabolism (MSIASM) approach. The first application shows that accounting the metabolism of a society in both economic and biophysical terms supports a better understanding of mechanisms determining evolutionary trajectories. This is done by analysing the constraints determined by the parallel evolution of different economic sectors and by establishing a link between material standard of living, population size, technology, and the resulting environmental impact. The case study of this first example deals with the recent economic history of Ecuador and Spain. The second application uses MSIASM for scenarios analysis. The goal is to illustrate an example of quality check on future scenarios of economic development. The case study is a set of hypotheses of economic development for Vietnam in the year 2010.

Keywords: multi-scale integrated analysis, societal metabolism, MSIA, MSIAM, complex systems, impredicative loop analysis, exosomatic energy, economic development, Vietnam, Ecuador, Spain, economic history, scenario analysis, economic growth, economic variables, biophysical variables, energy conversion, time allocation, materials use, land use

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