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Classifying economics for the common good: Connecting sustainable development goals to JEL codes


  • Jussi T. S. Heikkila


How does economics research help in solving societal challenges? This brief note sheds additional light on this question by providing ways to connect Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) codes and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. These simple linkages illustrate that the themes of SDGs have corresponding JEL classification codes. As the mappings presented here are necessarily imperfect and incomplete, there is plenty of room for improvements. In an ideal world, there would be a JEL classification system for SDGs, a separate JEL code for each of the 17 SDGs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jussi T. S. Heikkila, 2020. "Classifying economics for the common good: Connecting sustainable development goals to JEL codes," Papers 2004.04384,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2004.04384

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

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