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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 8 / 2014 (597)

Natural capital in the global crisis context

Constantin CONSTANTINESCU
Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania

Abstract. The global economic crisis has created conditions for the emergence of new perspectives on economic growth in the context of sustainable development. Theoretical and practical confrontation between economic growth theory and the theory of conservation of the natural environment revealed some unknown, uncertainties and interpretation errors. Although it is often used by economists, the term “natural capital” interpreted differently by users and therefore the approaches about its efficient use are different, ranging from proposals to limit growth in the purpose of the conservation of natural capital to liberal attitudes based on the principle of neoclassical theory letting prices to establish economic and social importance of the environment. The global crisis has demonstrated that equilibrium between economic growth and reducing environmental impact is difficult in conditions of instability. Consequently, the problem of finding the optimal level of balance between social benefits of development and costs of environmental protection is intractable when the economic variables know a high volatility and political decision must to take into account more the social factor. Global economy during the crisis has shown that the solution represented by measures to reduce the rate of deterioration of ecosystems is consistent only under conditions in which is accompanied by investment in recovery of natural capital and the environment is integrated by this way in the whole economic and social process. It outlines a new model of development in which politico-economicfinancial system can positively influence natural capital stocks by increasing the quality of policy makers and investment in knowledge capital.

Keywords: natural capital, economic growth theory, economic crisis.

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