On dimensions of ecological economics

Giovanni Baiocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A recent paper (Ecological Economics 69, 2010, pp. 1604-1609) has addressed the issues of dimensional homogeneity of equations and non-linear transformations of variables in economic and ecological economic models. The authors argued that logarithmic transformation cannot be used when variables are dimensional, presented several examples of purportedly incorrect use in applied economics and ecological economics publications, and concluded that these applications "make no sense.". In this paper we show that this view goes against well established theory and practice of many disciplines including physics, statistics, biology, and economics, and rests on an inadequate understanding of dimensional homogeneity and the nature of empirical modeling in applied sciences. We believe that it is important to clarify that the use of dimensional variables in transcendental functions is in fact in accordance with the established scientific consensus so as to prevent further confusion from arising in ecological economics where addressing complex problems requires the synthesis of insights from many diverse disciplines to further our understanding of the environment-economy interface.We also provide novel applications of dimensional methods to ecological economics and useful methodological references from several strands of scientific literature, not previously systematically consolidated, that should be of interest to every applied researcher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Dimensional analysis
  • Ecological economics
  • Methodology
  • empirical analysis
  • environmental economics
  • environmental impact
  • environmental planning
  • environmental protection
  • homogeneity

Cite this