Ethics and the economist: What climate change demands of us
Climate change is changing not only our physical world, but also our intellectual, social, and moral worlds. We are realizing that our situation is profoundly unsafe, interdependent, and uncertain. What, then, does climate change demand of economists, as human beings and as professionals? A discipline of economics based on Enlightenment notions of mechanism and disembodied rationality is not suited to present problems. This essay suggests three major requirements: first, that we take action; second, that we work together; and third, that we focus on avoiding the worst, rather than obtaining the optimal. The essay concludes with suggestions of specific steps that economists should take as researchers, teachers, and in our other roles.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Nelson, J.A., 1995.
"Feminism, Ecology, and the Philosophy of Economics,"
95-12, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Nelson, J.A., 1995. "Feminism, Ecology, and the Philosophy of Economics," Department of Economics 95-12, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2011. "Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
- DeMartino, George F., 2011. "The Economist's Oath: On the Need for and Content of Professional Economic Ethics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199730568, December.
- Richard B. Howarth, 2003. "Discounting and sustainability: towards reconciliation," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 87-97.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2012.
"GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages,"
11315435, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, 03.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2010. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," NBER Working Papers 16136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2009.
"On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Elizabeth Stanton, 2011. "Negishi welfare weights in integrated assessment models: the mathematics of global inequality," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 417-432, August.
- Peter Cramton & J. Gregory Dees, 1991.
"Shrewd Bargaining on the Moral Frontier: Toward a Theory of Morality in Pratice,"
Papers of Peter Cramton
91beq, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
- Gregory Dees, J. & Cramton, Peter C., 1991. "Shrewd Bargaining on the Moral Frontier: Toward a Theory of Morality In Practice," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 135-167, April.
- Frank Ackerman & Ian J. Finlayson, 2006. "The economics of inaction on climate change: a sensitivity analysis," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(5), pages 509-526, September.
- Benedetto Gui & Luca Stanca, 2010. "Happiness and relational goods: well-being and interpersonal relations in the economic sphere," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(2), pages 105-118, June.
- Hilary Putnam, 2003. "For Ethics and Economics without the Dichotomies," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 395-412.
- Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
- Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, December.
- Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-77, May.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2005. "What Do Economists Analyze And Why: Values Or Facts?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 221-278, October.
- Simon Dietz & Nicholas Stern, 2008. "Why Economic Analysis Supports Strong Action on Climate Change: A Response to the Stern Review's Critics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 94-113, Winter.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Economics: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192853455, December.
- Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:85:y:2013:i:c:p:145-154. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.