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Environmental Sustainability and Cost-Benefit Analysis

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  • E B Barbier
  • A Markandya
  • D W Pearce

Abstract

Efforts to ‘operationalize’ a concept of sustainability into appraisal methods for practical decisionmaking have been few and generally unpersuasive. In this paper it is argued that this need not be the case if a set of environmentally compensating, or ‘shadow’, projects within an overall portfolio are used to ensure a sustainability objective of setting a constraint on the depletion and degradation of the stock of natural capital. This can be achieved through both a ‘weak’ and a ‘strong’ sustainability criterion. In both cases the resulting optimum differs from the efficient optimum of the conventional cost-benefit criterion, but the basic cost-benefit model remains intact.

Suggested Citation

  • E B Barbier & A Markandya & D W Pearce, 1990. "Environmental Sustainability and Cost-Benefit Analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 22(9), pages 1259-1266, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:22:y:1990:i:9:p:1259-1266
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    1. Lele, Sharachchandra & Srinivasan, Veena, 2013. "Disaggregated economic impact analysis incorporating ecological and social trade-offs and techno-institutional context: A case from the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 98-112.
    2. repec:hrs:journl::y:2012:v:4:i:3:p:137-153 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Harte, M. J., 1995. "Ecology, sustainability, and environment as capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 157-164, November.
    4. Jean-Sauveur Ay & Jean-Marc Brayer & Jean Cavailhès & Pierre Curmi & Mohamed Hilal & Marjorie Ubertosi, 2012. "La valeur des attributs naturels des terres agricoles de Côte-d'Or," INRA UMR CESAER Working Papers 2012/1, INRA UMR CESAER, Centre d'’Economie et Sociologie appliquées à l'’Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux.
    5. Crawford, Eric W. & Kelly, Valerie A., 2001. "Evaluating Measures To Improve Agricultural Input Use," Staff Paper Series 11686, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Tipparat Pongthanapanich, 2003. "Review of Mathematical Programming for Coastal Land Use Optimization," Working Papers 52/2003, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    7. Quiggin, John C., 2001. "Environmental economics and the Murray-Darling river system," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28.
    8. Michela Faccioli & Nick Hanley & Catalina M. Torres Figuerola & Antoni Riera Font, 2015. "Do we care about sustainability? An analysis of time sensitivity of social preferences under environmental time-persistent effects," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2015-17, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    9. Maurer, Rainer, 2015. "Auf dem Weg zur weltanschaulichen Bekenntnisschule: Das wirtschaftspolitische Leitbild der Hochschule Pforzheim," Beiträge der Hochschule Pforzheim 152, Pforzheim University.
    10. Blackman, Allen & Nelson, Per-Kristian & Mathis, Mitchell, 2001. "The Greening of Development Economics: A Survey," Discussion Papers dp-01-08, Resources For the Future.
    11. Almansa Sáez, Carmen & Calatrava Requena, Javier, 2007. "La Problemática Del Descuento En La Evaluación Económica De Proyectos Con Impacto Intergeneracional: Tasa Ambiental Crítica Y Montante De Transferencia Intergeneracional/Discounting In The Context Of ," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 165-198, Abril.
    12. Ilias P. Vlachos & George P. Malindretos, 2012. "Farm SMEs sustainability assessment based on Bellagio Principles. The case of Messinian Region, Greece," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(3), pages 137-153, December.
    13. Pang, Rui-Zhi & Deng, Zhong-Qi & Hu, Jin-li, 2015. "Clean energy use and total-factor efficiencies: An international comparison," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1158-1171.
    14. Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric, 2007. "Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-626, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Bereket Araya & John Asafu‐Adjaye, 1999. "Returns to Farm‐Level Soil Conservation on Tropical Steep Slopes: The Case of the Eritrean Highlands," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 589-605, September.
    17. McKillop, William & Sarkar, Amin, 1996. "Sustainable development of forest resources in industrialized countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 175-184, August.
    18. Quiggin, John C., 1992. "Discounting and Sustainability," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 60(02), pages 1-4, August.

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