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Economics and "Sustainability": Balancing Trade-Offs and Imperatives

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  • Michael A. Toman

Abstract

The concept of "sustainability" has been increasingly invoked in scholarly and public policy debates. Discussion has been hampered, however, by uncertainty and lack of uniformity in the meaning of sustainability. This paper seeks to identify some common ground among economists, ecologists, and environmental ethicists. Two issues seem salient: requirements for inter generational equity and the definition of "social capital" to be provided to future generations. A concept of "safe minimum standard," which has received at least some recognition in the ecology, philosophy, and economics literatures, may provide the beginnings of a common ground for debate about sustainability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 399-413

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:70:y:1994:i:4:p:399-413

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Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Midmore, Peter & Whittaker, Julie, 2000. "Economics for sustainable rural systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 173-189, November.
  2. Fabio Grazi & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Piet Rietveld, 2006. "Modeling Spatial Sustainability: Spatial Welfare Economics versus Ecological Footprint," Working Papers 2006.5, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Frank Figge & Tobias Hahn, 2004. "Sustainable Value Added: ein neues Maß des Nachhaltigkeitsbeitrags von Unternehmen am Beispiel der Henkel KGaA," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 73(1), pages 126-141.
  4. Kohn, Robert E., 1999. "Thresholds and complementarities in an economic model of preserving and conserving biodiversity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-172, June.
  5. Wang, Sen, 2004. "One hundred faces of sustainable forest management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3-4), pages 205-213, June.
  6. Norton, Bryan G., 1995. "Evaluating ecosystem states: Two competing paradigms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 113-127, August.
  7. Sjak Smulders & Michael Toman & Cees Withagen, 2014. "Growth Theory and "Green Growth"," OxCarre Working Papers 135, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Lethal Model 2: The Limits to Growth Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 1-60.
  9. Toman, Michael, 1998. "Sustainable Decisionmaking: The State of the Art from an Economics Perspective," Discussion Papers dp-98-39, Resources For the Future.
  10. Michael Toman, 1998. "Research Frontiers in the Economics of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 603-621, April.
  11. Fabio Grazi & Jeroen Bergh & Piet Rietveld, 2007. "Spatial welfare economics versus ecological footprint: modeling agglomeration, externalities and trade," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 135-153, September.
  12. Crowards, Tom M., 1998. "Safe Minimum Standards: costs and opportunities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-314, June.
  13. Kvakkestad, Valborg & Vatn, Arild, 2011. "Governing uncertain and unknown effects of genetically modified crops," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 524-532, January.
  14. Huhtala, Anni, 1999. "Optimizing production technology choices: conventional production vs. recycling," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, January.
  15. Toman, Michael & Shogren, Jason, 2000. "Climate Change Policy," Discussion Papers dp-00-22, Resources For the Future.
  16. Luiza Toma & Erik Mathijs, 2004. "Stated environmental preferences in a Romanian rural community," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 215-227.
  17. Oliver Fromm, 2000. "Ecological Structure and Functions of Biodiversity as Elements of Its Total Economic Value," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(3), pages 303-328, July.
  18. Jaeger, William K., 1995. "Is sustainability optimal? Examining the differences between economists and environmentalists," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 43-57, October.
  19. Toman, Michael & Pezzey, John C., 2002. "The Economics of Sustainability: A Review of Journal Articles," Discussion Papers dp-02-03, Resources For the Future.

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