The United Nations Environment Program did a very unusual and far-sighted thing last year: it asked the CSIRO to produce a version of its biophysical model of the Australian economy for developing countries, and to pair that with an economic model which had to be non-equilibrium in nature.
The Stocks and Flows Resource Modelling team at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, which maintains this biophysical model, approached me in July to see whether I would be willing to attempt the development of that nonequilibrium multisectoral economic model.
The CSIRO’s biophysical model uses a software package called WhatIf? that is designed for multi-dimensional aggregation of data and extrapolation of the trends that data displays. Resource data is stored at as disaggregated a level as possible (population, for example, is disaggregated by age, sex and location), and then aggregated to the national and global level. A similar exercise applies for consumer demand, which is driven by an age-based profile of the population, allied to the consumption patterns that apply for each age cohort across all industries in an economy, and the resource requirements of output in that industry.
As I document in this paper, the project to develop a monetary, multi-sectoral, nonequilibrium model of production was successful, while the CSIRO successfully adapted their Australian stocks and flows model to the available Asian data. The CSIRO and I presented our results to the UNEP group in November.
The video quality is pretty terrible–I’ve learnt a bit about filming since then–but nonetheless here they are. The videos “speak for themselves”, so I’ll let them do just that.
Franzi Poldi’s explanation of the CSIRO’s of the Asia-Pacific Stocks and Flows Model:Steve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast
My explanation of my multisectoral monetary model (and the PPT file for my talk):Steve Keen’s Debtwatch Podcast