Dimensions and logarithmic function in economics: A short critical analysis

Kozo Mayumi, Mario Giampietro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


When dealing with sustainability, we are concerned with the biophysical and the monetary aspects of economic and ecological interactions. This multidimensional approach requires that special attention is paid to dimensional issues. However, many studies in economics, as well as in ecological economics, apply dimensional numbers to exponential or logarithmic functions. We show first that it is an analytical error to put a dimensional number x into exponential functions (ax) and logarithmic functions (log ax). We introduce several examples of this analytical error both in ecological economics and conventional economics. These observations are presented with the hope that they will orient future quantitative analyses toward more constructive ends. Since the empirical and theoretical studies in economics often adopt the logarithmic specification of the production and cost function, we derive a procedure or an algorithm, concerned with the given data set, by which we can examine whether or not a particular logarithmic specification is superior to the usual regression specification in terms of the least square norm. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1604-1609
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2010


  • Dimensions
  • Econometrics
  • Logarithmic function
  • Logarithmic specification


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