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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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  • Nelson, Julie A., 2008. "Economists, value judgments, and climate change: A view from feminist economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 441-447, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:3:p:441-447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard B. Howarth, 2003. "Discounting and sustainability: towards reconciliation," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, pages 87-97.
    2. Blackman, Allen & Lahiri, Bidisha & Pizer, William & Rivera Planter, Marisol & Muñoz Piña, Carlos, 2010. "Voluntary environmental regulation in developing countries: Mexico's Clean Industry Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, pages 182-192.
    3. Charles D. Kolstad, 2010. "Introduction to the Issue," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 1-2, Winter.
    4. Richard S. J. Tol & Gary W. Yohe, 2006. "A Review of the Stern Review," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, pages 233-250.
    5. Arrow Kenneth J, 2007. "Global Climate Change: A Challenge to Policy," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, pages 1-5.
    6. Sandra Harding, 1995. "Can feminist thought make economics more objective?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 7-32.
    7. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 686-702.
    8. Neumayer, Eric, 1999. "Global warming: discounting is not the issue, but substitutability is," Energy Policy, Elsevier, pages 33-43.
    9. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 703-724.
    10. 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.
    11. Olmstead Sheila M & Stavins Robert N, 2007. "A Meaningful Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, pages 1-6.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, pages 37-48.
    2. Anna Horodecka, 2015. "The Changing Face of Economics? Ethical Issues in Contemporary Economic Schools as a Consequence of Changes in the Concept of Human Nature," Annales. Ethics in Economic Life, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, vol. 18(4), pages 55-71, December.
    3. Richard S. J. Tol, 2010. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, pages 13-37.
    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. 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.
    6. Erik Ansink & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2015. "Composition properties in the river claims problem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, pages 807-831.
    7. Julie A. Nelson, "undated". "09-06 "Between a Rock and a Soft Place: Ecological and Feminist Economics in Policy Debates"," GDAE Working Papers 09-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
    8. Baum, Seth D., 2009. "Description, prescription and the choice of discount rates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 197-205, November.
    9. Sigrid Stagl, 2014. "Ecological macroeconomics: reflections on labour markets," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, pages 171-181.
    10. 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.

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