Measuring the bioeconomy: Economics and Policies

J.H.H. Wesseler, Joachim von Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The emerging concept of bioeconomy offers several opportunities to address
societal challenges. The bioeconomy is mainly driven by advances in
microbiology, which can be applied to various processes that use biological
resources by shifting consumer preferences and by yielding new insights
into resource constraints related to such issues as climate and land. Although
expectations are high, less is known about the economic importance of the
bioeconomy. This article reviews the methodological challenges of measuring
the bioeconomy, the approaches used, and the outcomes reported. The
results show that measuring the bioeconomy is still in its infancy and faces a
number of methodological challenges. Bioeconomy cuts across sectors and
therefore cannot be treated as a traditional sector in economics. Economics
must catch up with bioeconomy realities. For a comprehensive economic assessment,
information about bioeconomy resources, compounds, and product
flows is required. We outline innovations in data storage and analytical methods that would realize bioeconomy opportunities and help guide policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-298
JournalAnnual Review of Resource Economics
Early online date16 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • bioeconomy
  • real option
  • sustainability
  • tecnical change
  • technology policy
  • value added

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