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Whither economics? From optimality to sustainability?

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  • BARTELMUS, PETER
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    Abstract

    Environment and economy interact. Most economists and economic policy makers have tended to neglect this interaction as 'external' to mainstream market economics. The question is whether environmental externalities have reached a level where they overwhelm optimality and efficiency in resource allocation. Sustainability in growth and development has been advanced as a criterion for dealing with the social costs of environmental impacts. The article examines how this criterion can be operationalized for assessing the significance of environmental concerns in economic analysis and policy. Indicators of economic and ecological sustainability are defined and compiled for selected countries. Based on these indicators, operational paradigms of 'eco-nomics' and 'sustainable development' are advanced.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 2 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 03 (July)
    Pages: 323-345

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:2:y:1997:i:03:p:323-345_00

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    Cited by:
    1. Bartelmus, Peter, 1999. "Economic growth and patterns of sustainability," Wuppertal Papers 98, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.
    2. Gardner M. Brown, 2000. "Renewable Natural Resource Management and Use without Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 875-914, December.
    3. Bartelmus, Peter, 2003. "Dematerialization and capital maintenance: two sides of the sustainability coin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 61-81, August.
    4. Mariano Torras, 2005. "Ecological inequality in assessing well-being: Some applications," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 205-224, December.
    5. Bartelmus, Peter, 1999. "Green accounting for a sustainable economy: Policy use and analysis of environmental accounts in the Philippines," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-170, April.

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