IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Accounting for Sustainability: A Dissenting Opinion

  • Robert D. Cairns

    ()

    (Department of Economics, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal QC H3A 2T7, Canada)

Discounted-utilitarian welfare, the commonest social objective studied by economists, is the basis for the theory of green accounting in terms of social utility. Sustainability is a different type of social objective. Consequently, green accounting as derived in many empirical models is not appropriate for studying sustainability. Maximin is a consistent foundation for the analysis of sustainability, both weak and strong, that provides conceptually correct accounting prices. These prices are not yet practicable for real economies, however, and must await further advances. Sustainable development is a generalization of the notion of sustainability and can be analyzed using a generalization of maximin.

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.

File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/9/1341/pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/9/1341/
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (August)
Pages: 1341

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:9:p:1341-1356:d:13757
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

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.:

as in new window
  1. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
  2. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
  3. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. M. L. Weitzman, 1974. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy," Working papers 125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Hassan Benchekroun & Cees Withagen, 2010. "The Optimal Depletion Of Exhaustible Resources: A Complete Characterization," Departmental Working Papers 2010-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  6. Solow, Robert, 1993. "An almost practical step toward sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-172, September.
  7. Martinet, Vincent, 2007. "A step beside the maximin path: Can we sustain the economy by following Hartwick's investment rule?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 103-108, October.
  8. John C. V. Pezzey, 2004. "Sustainability Policy and Environmental Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 339-359, 06.
  9. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
  10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2007. "A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion For Intergenerational Equity: Theory And Implications," Departmental Working Papers 2007-03, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  11. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 647-685, December.
  12. Withagen, Cees & B. Asheim, Geir, 1998. "Characterizing sustainability: The converse of Hartwick's rule," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 159-165, September.
  13. Hassan Benchekroun & Cees Withagen, 2008. "Global Dynamics In A Growth Model With An Exhaustible Resource," Departmental Working Papers 2008-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  14. Pezzey, J.C.V.John C. V., 2004. "One-sided sustainability tests with amenities, and changes in technology, trade and population," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 613-631, July.
  15. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-56, May.
  16. Asheim,G.B. & Weitzman,M.L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Memorandum 02/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  17. Cairns, Robert D. & Long, Ngo Van, 2006. "Maximin: a direct approach to sustainability," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 275-300, June.
  18. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:9:p:1341-1356:d:13757. 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: (XML Conversion Team)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.