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Citizens, Consumers and the Environment: Reflections on The Economy of the Earth


  • Russell Keat


This paper presents a critical evaluation of Mark Sagoff's critique of economistic approaches to environmental decision-making in The Economy of the Earth . Whilst endorsing many of Sagoff's specific arguments against the use of extended versions of cost-benefit analysis in making such decisions, it criticises the conceptual framework within which these arguments are developed. In particular, it suggests that what Sagoff represents as a tension between consumers and their public roles as citizens is better understood as one between culturally shared values concerning both the protection of nature and the pursuit of consumption; and that this conflict has itself to be resolved by them as citizens.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Keat, 1994. "Citizens, Consumers and the Environment: Reflections on The Economy of the Earth," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 3(4), pages 333-349, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev3:ev318

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    More about this item


    Citizens; consumers; environment; Sagoff;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects


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