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Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development: Cost Benefit Analysis for Sustainable Development


  • Anastasios Xepapadeas


Sustainable development, environmental sustainability, green economies and green growth are issues which are of great importance for both the research and the policy agenda. The present paper clearly defines the concepts of sustainability and environmental sustainability and provides a conceptual framework for developing sustainability-founded cost benefit rules. It shows that a certain policy cannot necessarily simultaneously satisfy sustainable development and environmental sustainability objectives, the development of green economies, and the attainment of development or green growth.This is important for decision makers because it suggests using more than one criterion depending on the combination of the objectives to be pursued.The cost benefit rules presented in this paper could provide a basis for a clear distinction among objectives and for project selection mechanisms that promote single or multiple objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2014. "Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development: Cost Benefit Analysis for Sustainable Development," DEOS Working Papers 1413, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:aue:wpaper:1413

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
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    6. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Dasgupta, Partha & Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mumford, Kevin J. & Oleson, Kirsten, 2012. "Sustainability and the measurement of wealth," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 317-353, June.
    7. John C. V. Pezzey, 1997. "Sustainability Constraints versus "Optimality" versus Intertemporal Concern, and Axioms versus Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 448-466.
    8. 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.
    9. Pezzey, J., 1992. "Sustainable Development Concepts; An Economic Analysis," Papers 2, World Bank - The World Bank Environment Paper.
    10. S. Blankenburg, 2014. "Introduction," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(6), pages 1295-1305.
    11. Riley, John G., 1980. "The just rate of depletion of a natural resource," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 291-307, December.
    12. Xepapadeas, Anastasios & Stefan, Joan, 2014. "Introduction: 20 years later," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 271-284, June.
    13. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Papers 281, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Sustainable development; wellbeing; comprehensive investment; accounting prices; cost benefit analysis; environmental sustainability; green economies; green growth;

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