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What is sustainability economics?

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Author Info

  • Stefan Baumgärtner

    ()
    (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)

  • Martin F. Quaas

    (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)

Abstract

While economists have been contributing to the discussion of various aspects of sustainability for decades, it is just recently that the term “sustainability economics” was used explicitly in the ecological, environmental, and resource economics community. Yet, the contributions that use the term “sustainability economics” do not refer to any explicit definition of the term, and are not obviously joined by common or unifying characteristics, such as subject focus, methodology, or institutional background. The question thus arises: What is “sustainability economics”? In this essay, we make an attempt at systematically defining and delineating what “sustainability economics” could be in terms of its normative foundation, aims, subject matter, ontology, epistemology, and genuine research agenda.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 138.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:138

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Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html

Related research

Keywords: economics; efficiency; epistemology; fairness; future; justice; human-nature-relationship; ontology; philosophy of science; sustainability; uncertainty;

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References

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  1. Peter Söderbaum, 2007. "Towards Sustainability Economics: Principles and Values," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 205-225, December.
  2. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
  3. Becker, Gary S., 1978. "The Economic Approach to Human Behavior," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226041124, March.
  4. Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Hertel, Kirsten & Manstetten, Reiner, 2005. "Malthus vs. Wordsworth: Perspectives on humankind, nature and economy. A contribution to the history and the foundations of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 299-310, May.
  5. Muller, Adrian, 2003. "A flower in full blossom?: Ecological economics at the crossroads between normal and post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 19-27, April.
  6. Illge, Lydia & Schwarze, Reimund, 2009. "A matter of opinion--How ecological and neoclassical environmental economists and think about sustainability and economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 594-604, January.
  7. Becker, Christian, 2006. "The human actor in ecological economics: Philosophical approach and research perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 17-23, November.
  8. Ayres, Robert U., 2008. "Sustainability economics: Where do we stand?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 281-310, September.
  9. Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Ravetz, Jerome R., 1994. "The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 197-207, August.
  10. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Externality or sustainability economics?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2047-2052, September.
  2. Antonio Tencati & Laszlo Zsolnai, 2012. "Collaborative Enterprise and Sustainability: The Case of Slow Food," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 345-354, October.
  3. Klauer, Bernd & Manstetten, Reiner & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2013. "The art of long-term thinking: A bridge between sustainability science and politics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 79-84.
  4. Demals, Thierry & Hyard, Alexandra, 2014. "Is Amartya Sen's sustainable freedom a broader vision of sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 33-38.
  5. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2010. "Sustainability economics – general versus specific, and conceptual versus practical," Working Paper Series in Economics 169, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  6. Binder, Martin & Witt, Ulrich, 2012. "A critical note on the role of the capability approach for sustainability economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 721-725.
  7. Ulrich Witt, 2011. "Sustainability and the Problem of Consumption," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-16, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  8. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Ecological Economics and Philosophy of Science: Ontology, Epistemology, Methodology and Ideology," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_03, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  9. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Towards the integration of social, economic and ecological knowledge," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_04, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  10. Torben Klarl, 2013. "Market dynamics, dynamic resource management and environmental policy in the context of (strong) sustainability," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 861-888, September.
  11. Tom Dedeurwaerdere, 2013. "Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science at Higher Education Institutions: Science Policy Tools for Incremental Institutional Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(9), pages 3783-3801, September.
  12. Birkin, Frank & Polesie, Thomas, 2013. "The relevance of epistemic analysis to sustainability economics and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 144-152.
  13. Stefan Baumgaertner & Stefanie Glotzbach & Nikolai Hoberg & Martin F. Quaas & Klara Stumpf, 2011. "Trade-offs between justices, economics, and efficiency," Working Paper Series in Economics 218, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  14. Klarl, Torben, 2011. "Market dynamics, dynamic resource management and environmental policy in the context of (strong) sustainability," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48714, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  15. Clive L. Spash, 2013. "The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2013_01, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  16. Rammelt, Crelis F. & Boes, Jan, 2013. "Galtung meets Daly: A framework for addressing inequity in ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 269-277.
  17. Martin Visbeck & Ulrike Kronfeld-Goharani & Barbara Neumann & Wilfried Rickels & Jörn Schmidt & Erik van Doorn, 2013. "Establishing a Sustainable Development Goal for Oceans and Coasts to Face the Challenges of our Future Ocean," Kiel Working Papers 1847, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  18. Alexandre BERTHE (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Sylvie FERRARI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113), 2012. "Ecological inequalities: how to link unequal access to the environment with theories of justice?," Cahiers du GREThA 2012-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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