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Law, Sustainability, and the Pursuit of Happiness


  • Farber, Daniel A.


Environmental law focuses on regulating the production of energy and goods. Less attention has been given to reducing the environmental footprint of consumption. This Article brings together several strands of research, including psychological and economic research on subjective wellbeing; research on energy efficiency; writings by urban planners on sustainable communities; and recent work on individual behavior and sustainability. The conclusion, in a nutshell, is that changes in consumption of goods and energy, assisted by improvements in urban design and transportation infrastructure, can significantly reduce energy use and environmental harm. A variety of legal tools are available to promote these changes. Remarkably, many of the steps needed for sustainability can actually improve quality of life, adding to individual satisfaction. Thus, sustainability for society and the pursuit of individual happiness need not be at odds.

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  • Farber, Daniel A., 2011. "Law, Sustainability, and the Pursuit of Happiness," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6289107q, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt6289107q

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    1. Roman Inderst & Greg Shaffer, 2010. "Market-share contracts as facilitating practices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(4), pages 709-729.
    2. Sjostrom, William, 1989. "Collusion in Ocean Shipping: A Test of Monopoly and Empty Core Model s," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1160-1179, October.
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    Administrative Law; Economics; Energy and Utilities Law; Environmental Law; Land Use Planning; Law and Economics; Natural Resources Law; Oil; Gas; and Mineral Law; Public Law and Legal Theory; Water Law; Law;

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