Macro Models

Lecture handout: Macro Models: from DICE to doughnuts

⭐ Required readings:

This session integrates ecological concerns wirth standard economics, providing an overview of how macroeconomists model the economy and how those methods and models relate to climate issues.

Here’s a clip of John Lennon saying that overpopulation is a myth:


This was controversial at the time. In fact Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, was so influential it led to the sterilisation of 8 million Indian men. And yet as of January 2023 he’s still receiving media coverage when warning about unsustainable growth. Note:

Here’s a great visual showing different carbon pricing initiatives:

Here is more on the doughnut model:

Some spinning donuts (you see! it is meant to be measured after all):

Here are the scorecards on social progress mentioned:

In some versions of this presentation I discuss agent-based models. You can play with the Schelling model here. To learn more about ABMs I recommend this Runestone Academy interactive textbook. Also see:

Further readings:
  • Boulding, K.E., 1977, “Notes on goods, services, and cultural economics” Journal of Cultural Economics, 1(1):1-12
Recommended audio:
  • Macro 6: DSGE“, Anthony J. Evans (for more depth on Macroeconomic models including my other podcast episodes see here)
Recommended videos:

Here is a fascinating video (in French) on the limits to growth and the World 3 model

Here is Ray Dalio’s 30 minute explainer on his economic framework:


Here’s a short quiz to test your knowledge about the sessions:

Learning Objectives: Consider the upper limits of economic growth and the impact of economic activity on the environment.