ABSTRACT. Just as mainstream economics neglects the biophysical basis of production and disregards energy as the most fundamental input, it likewise ignores the existence of the public economy. Both types of denialism threaten the ability of societies to develop energy solutions that can meet the needs of the polity. This article calls for a new theory of the public economy and it outlines elements of such a theory. Both a biophysical economics and a new public economics are needed to address the energy challenges confronting modern societies.
JEL codes: D73; H83; P28; Q43

Keywords: economics; sustainability; biophysical economics; political science; public administration; ecology; entropy

How to cite: Sekera, June (2018). “Missing from the Mainstream: The Biophysical Basis of Production and the Public Economy,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 13(3): 56–73.

Received 5 February 2018 • Received in revised form 13 March 2018
Accepted 16 March 2018 • Available online 5 April 2018


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Global Development and Environment Institute,
Tufts University, United States;
Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose,
University College London, England

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