Causal Inference Strategies for Quantifying Displaced Production from Recycling

Joseph Palazzo

University of California, Santa Barbara

Joe holds a Master's degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and spent over three years working as a semiconductor engineering professional before becoming an Industrial Ecologist. His current research focuses on how economic and social phenomena translate into environmental impacts. For example, the primary benefit of recycling is its ability to displace primary material production. However, the quantification of this potential displacement is a complex research problem affected by social dynamics. Recently, Joe has used previously untapped causal inference methods to quantify this interaction and applied his methods to water reuse. These new conceptual models are expected to have an impact on industrial ecology as a whole, as there are many questions affecting environmental impacts that stand to benefit from the full spectrum of causal inference approaches. Joe also doubles as an accomplished percussionist, having collaborated and performed with a broad array of music professionals over the past fifteen years.


The displacement of primary production and raw material harvesting are key potential environmental benefits of recycling. Displacement is also a critical effect in consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA). Structural market... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Joseph Palazzo (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  2. Roland Geyer (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  3. Richard Startz (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Topic Areas

• Life cycle sustainability assessment , • Advances in methods (e.g., life cycle assessment, social impact assessment, resilience a , • Sustainable urban systems


MS-18 » Computational methods to support decision-making (14:00 - Monday, 26th June, Room I)

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