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Western economics versus Buddhist economics


  • Laszlo Zsolnai

    () (Corvinus University of Budapest, Business Ethics Center, Budapest, Hungary)


The paper explores Buddhist economics as a major alternative to the Western economic mindset. Buddhism is centred on want negation and purification of the human character. Buddhist economics, developed by Schumacher, Payutto, Welford and others, challenges the basic principles of modern Western economics: (1) profit-maximisation, (2) cultivating desires, (3) introducing markets, (4) instrumental use of the world, and (5) self-interest-based ethics. Buddhist economics proposes alternative principles such as minimising suffering, simplifying desires, non-violence, genuine care, and generosity. It is suggested that Buddhist economics is not a system but a strategy, which can be applied in any economic setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Laszlo Zsolnai, 2007. "Western economics versus Buddhist economics," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 29(2), pages 145-153, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:145-153
    Note: The paper is based on a much broader paper of the author published in Bouckaert et al. (2007).

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