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Selected Publication:

Dorninger, C; Eisenmenger, N.
(2016): South America's biophysical involvement in international trade: the physical trade balances of Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil in the light of ecologically unequal exchange
J POLIT ECOL. 2016; 23: 394-409.

International trade is becoming increasingly important in the strategies of industrialized economies (xxxcorexxx countries) to meet their physical needs and maintain their social metabolism. Less industrialized (xxxnon-corexxx) countries, in particular those with low population densities such as countries in South America, provide a large share of the natural resources currently being used by the xxxcorexxx countries. This article analyzes the relations of biophysical exchange of Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil with global xxxcorexxx and xxxnon-corexxx countries in order to add to a discussion of possible relations of different national economic policies, such as import substituting industrialization or neoliberal adjustment, on the countriesxxx physical trade balances (PTBs). By that we will provide a biophysical reading of ecologically unequal exchange; by investigating whether there is a physical net trade flow from xxxnon-corexxx to xxxcorexxx countries, whether primary products dominate exports of xxxnon-corexxx countries in exchange for processed products from xxxcorexxxcountries, and whether the notion of unfavorable mass-to-price relation for the trading xxxnon-corexxx countries applies (Hornborg 2012; Martinez-Alier 2007). The magnitudes, type of material, stage of processing and monetary value of the traded goods are analyzed for the time period from 1962 to 2011. The evaluations have been carried out for trade relations with the xxxcorexxxand the xxxnon-corexxx countries separately. Additionally, in order to trace the so-called China Effect, which led to the period of new extractivism, the quantities exported to China are shown separately. The results indicate that the three countries examined are net exporters of physical quantities. The physical involvement in xxxcorexxx- and xxxnon-corexxx-related international trade differs greatly, but at the same time the relative importance of the xxxcorexxx as trading partner has decreased steadily over the five decades. Still, xxxcorexxx related trade involves the most unfavorable mass-to-price relation. These conditions, i.e. high importance of unprocessed export commodities, low average unit prices, and an unfavorable monetary trade balance (MTB), reveal many characteristics of an ecologically unequal exchange. This is especially true for Argentina and Brazil. Due to its lower economic performance and limited involvement in international trade, Bolivia to some extent represents an exception.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Dorninger Christian
Eisenmenger Nina
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Ecologically unequal exchange
physical trade balance
South America

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