Economics journals’ engagement
in the planetary emergency:
a misallocation of resources?


Abstract. The planetary emergency is an intellectual and humanitarian challenge that urgently warrants a significant amount of research attention from the economics profession. Is this happening? To answer this question, we assess the number of articles in the top 300 economics journals that are about either (a) climate change and/or (b) natural capital, ecosystem services or biodiversity (NEB). We find that between 2000 to 2019, 71 per cent of journals have published under 1 per cent on climate change and 94 per cent under 1 per cent on NEB. This is evidence that, thus far, economists’ response to the planetary emergency has been incommensurate with the magnitude and urgency of this crisis.

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