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Human Development and Sustainability


  • Eric Neumayer


This article reviews existing linkages between the two broad concepts of human development and sustainability and discusses ways in which the often separate literatures can learn from each other. It proposes a practical way in which the measurements of human development and sustainability can be linked with each other. Empirical results for both a weak and a strong sustainability indicator are presented for the time period 1980--2006. The most important policy conclusion derived from these results is that countries of high to very high human development face the double task of achieving strong sustainability by severing the link between high human development and strongly unsustainable carbon emissions and helping other countries, particularly those with low levels of human development, to achieve weak sustainability in the first place and strong sustainability eventually.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Human Development and Sustainability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 561-579, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:561-579 DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2012.693067

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cristina Balaceanu & Diana Apostol, 2014. "Gdp As A Measuring Instrument For The Human Development," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 69-72, December.
    2. Leßmann, Ortrud & Masson, Torsten, 2015. "Sustainable consumption in capability perspective: Operationalization and empirical illustration," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 64-72.
    3. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.
    4. Pelenc, Jérôme & Ballet, Jérôme, 2015. "Strong sustainability, critical natural capital and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 36-44.
    5. Pelenc, Jérôme & Bazile, Didier & Ceruti, Cristian, 2015. "Collective capability and collective agency for sustainability: A case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 226-239.
    6. Roman, Philippe & Thiry, Géraldine, 2016. "The inclusive wealth index. A critical appraisal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 185-192.
    7. Pelenc, Jérôme, 2014. "Développement humain responsable et aménagement du territoire. Réflexions à partir de deux réserves de biosphère périurbaines en France et au Chili
      [Responsible Human Development and Land-Use Plann
      ," MPRA Paper 56094, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Giménez, Víctor & Ayvar-Campos, Francisco Javier & Navarro-Chávez, José César Lenin, 2017. "Efficiency in the generation of social welfare in Mexico: A proposal in the presence of bad outputs," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 43-52.
    9. Ângelo Barroso & Cristina Chaves & Francisco Vitorino Martins & Manuel Castelo Branco, 2016. "On the possibility of sustainable development with less economic growth: a research note," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 1399-1414, October.
    10. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9764-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Isabel NOVO-CORTI & Diana-Mihaela POCIOVALISTEANU & Raluca-Ioana IORGULESCU, 2015. "Social Sustainability In Higher Education. The Role Of Institutions From Students’ Point Of View," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 166-180, September.
    12. Rita Silva & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2014. "A Regional Development Index for Portugal," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 1055-1085, September.
    13. Mark Roseland & Maria Spiliotopoulou, 2016. "Converging Urban Agendas: Toward Healthy and Sustainable Communities," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1-20, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy


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