Institutional ecological economics
Jouni Paavolaa,*, W. Neil Adgera,b
Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), University of East Anglia,
Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
Received 20 August 2003; received in revised form 9 July 2004; accepted 24 September 2004
Available online 3 February 2005
New institutional economics and its forerunners have, we argue made important contributions to the evolving agenda of
ecological economics. The conceptualisation of environmental problems as instances of interdependence and the acknowl-
edgement of positive transaction costs are key insights into the nature of environmental problems. We also discuss how plurality
of behavioural motivations and limited cognitive capacity have important implications for environmental decision making and
its analysis. We show how evolutionary and collective action theories offer complementary takes on the choice and change of
environmental governance institutions and how the concept of social capital can enrich analyses of environmental governance.
We conclude that an emerging institutional ecological economics has the greatest relative advantage in analysing the design,
implementation and effectiveness of environmental governance solutions.
D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.