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Externality or sustainability economics?

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  • van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M.

Abstract

In an effort to develop "sustainability economics" Baumgärtner and Quaas (2010) neglect the central concept of environmental economics-"environmental externality". This note proposes a possible connection between the concepts of environmental externality and sustainability. In addition, attention is asked for other aspects of "sustainability economics", namely the distinction weak/strong sustainability, spatial sustainability and sustainable trade, distinctive sustainability policy, and the ideas of early "sustainability economists". I argue that both sustainability and externalities reflect a systems perspective and propose that effective sustainability solutions require that more attention is given to system feedbacks, notably other-regarding preferences and social interactions, and energy and environmental rebound. The case of climate change and policy is used to illustrate particular statements. As a conclusion, a list of 20 insights and suggestions for research is offered.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11 (September)
Pages: 2047-2052

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:11:p:2047-2052

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

Related research

Keywords: Climate change Dynamic externalities Rebound Spatial sustainability Resilience Steady-state economy Strong/weak sustainability Sustainability policy Systems thinking;

References

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  1. Costanza, Robert & Perrings, Charles, 1990. "A flexible assurance bonding system for improved environmental management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 57-75, April.
  2. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
  3. Perrings, Charles, 1989. "Environmental bonds and environmental research in innovative activities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 95-110, February.
  4. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Herman E. Daly, 1968. "On Economics as a Life Science," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 392.
  6. Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
  7. Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
  8. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2009. "What is sustainability economics?," Working Paper Series in Economics 138, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Stern, David I., 1997. "Limits to substitution and irreversibility in production and consumption: A neoclassical interpretation of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 197-215, June.
  10. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2004. "Optimal climate policy is a utopia: from quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 385-393, April.
  11. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Munda, Giuseppe, 2000. "Alternative models of individual behaviour and implications for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 43-61, January.
  12. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, 9.
  13. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120, 9.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lázaro-Touza, Lara & Atkinson, Giles, 2013. "Nature, roads or hospitals? An empirical evaluation of ‘sustainable development preferences’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 63-72.
  2. Louis Dupuy, 2012. "International Trade and Sustainability: A survey," Larefi Working Papers, Larefi, Université Bordeaux 4 1201, Larefi, Université Bordeaux 4.
  3. repec:laf:wpaper:201201 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
  5. Laes, Erik & Meskens, Gaston & van der Sluijs, Jeroen P., 2011. "On the contribution of external cost calculations to energy system governance: The case of a potential large-scale nuclear accident," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5664-5673, September.
  6. Wagner, Jeffrey, 2011. "Incentivizing sustainable waste management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 585-594, February.

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