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Economists, value judgments, and climate change: A view from feminist economics

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  • Nelson, Julie A.

Abstract

A number of recent discussions about ethical issues in climate change, as engaged in by economists, have focused on the value of the parameter representing the rate of time preference within models of optimal growth. This essay examines many economists' antipathy to serious discussion of ethical matters, and suggests that the avoidance of questions of intergenerational equity is related to another set of value judgments concerning the quality and objectivity of economic practice. Using insights from feminist philosophy of science and research on high reliability organizations, this essay argues that a more ethically transparent, real-world-oriented, and flexible economic practice would lead to more reliable and useful knowledge.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 441-447

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:3:p:441-447

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Richard B. Howarth, 2003. "Discounting and sustainability: towards reconciliation," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 87-97.
  2. Richard S. J. Tol & Gary W. Yohe, 2006. "A Review of the Stern Review," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(4), pages 233-250, October.
  3. Olmstead Sheila M & Stavins Robert N, 2007. "A Meaningful Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-6, June.
  4. Thomas Sterner & U. Martin Persson, 2008. "An Even Sterner Review: Introducing Relative Prices into the Discounting Debate," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 61-76, Winter.
  5. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
  6. Stephen DeCanio, 2005. "Descriptive or Conceptual Models? Contributions of Economics to the Climate Policy Debate," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 415-427, December.
  7. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
  8. Sandra Harding, 1995. "Can feminist thought make economics more objective?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 7-32.
  9. Arrow Kenneth J, 2007. "Global Climate Change: A Challenge to Policy," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-5, June.
  10. Neumayer, Eric, 1999. "Global warming: discounting is not the issue, but substitutability is," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 33-43, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard S. J. Tol, 2010. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(s1), pages 13-37, 05.
  2. Julie A. Nelson, . "09-06 "Between a Rock and a Soft Place: Ecological and Feminist Economics in Policy Debates"," GDAE Working Papers 09-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
  3. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
  4. Nelson, Julie A., 2009. "Between a rock and a soft place: Ecological and feminist economics in policy debates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, November.
  5. Julie A. Nelson, 2012. "Is Dismissing the Precautionary Principle the Manly Thing to Do? Gender and the Economics of Climate Change," GDAE Working Papers 12-04, GDAE, Tufts University.
  6. Koen Vermeylen, 2013. "The Methodology of Modern Macroeconomics and the Descriptive Approach to Discounting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-200/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Baum, Seth D., 2009. "Description, prescription and the choice of discount rates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 197-205, November.
  8. Koen Vermeylen, 2013. "The Consumption Discount Rate for the Distant Future (if we do not die out)," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-201/VI, Tinbergen Institute.

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