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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.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Externality or sustainability economics?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2047-2052, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:11:p:2047-2052
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stern, David I., 1997. "Limits to substitution and irreversibility in production and consumption: A neoclassical interpretation of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 197-215, June.
    2. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin, 2010. "What is sustainability economics?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 445-450, January.
    3. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
    4. Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
    5. Fabio Grazi & Jeroen Bergh & Piet Rietveld, 2007. "Spatial welfare economics versus ecological footprint: modeling agglomeration, externalities and trade," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 135-153, September.
    6. Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
    7. 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, vol. 32(1), pages 43-61, January.
    8. Costanza, Robert & Perrings, Charles, 1990. "A flexible assurance bonding system for improved environmental management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 57-75, April.
    9. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2004. "Optimal climate policy is a utopia: from quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 385-393, April.
    10. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    11. Perrings, Charles, 1989. "Environmental bonds and environmental research in innovative activities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 95-110, February.
    12. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, December.
    13. Herman E. Daly, 1968. "On Economics as a Life Science," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 392-392.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2014. "Sustainable development in ecological economics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 3, pages 41-54 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. 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, vol. 39(9), pages 5664-5673, September.
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:245-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:laf:wpaper:201201 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Louis Dupuy, 2012. "International Trade and Sustainability : A survey," Working Papers hal-00701426, HAL.
    6. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2010. "The drawbacks and opportunities of carbon charges in metropolitan areas -- A spatial general equilibrium approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-357, December.
    7. Wagner, Jeffrey, 2011. "Incentivizing sustainable waste management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 585-594, February.
    8. Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2014. "Market and policy shocks in economic systems: interrelated dynamics in the sustainability transition," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 153-164.
    9. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
    10. Lázaro-Touza, Lara & Atkinson, Giles, 2013. "Nature, roads or hospitals? An empirical evaluation of ‘sustainable development preferences’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 63-72.
    11. Henckens, M.L.C.M. & van Ierland, E.C. & Driessen, P.P.J. & Worrell, E., 2016. "Mineral resources: Geological scarcity, market price trends, and future generations," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 102-111.
    12. Remig, Moritz C., 2015. "Unraveling the veil of fuzziness: A thick description of sustainability economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 194-202.

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