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11-02 "Ethics and the Economist: What Climate Change Demands of Us"

  • Julie A. Nelson

Climate change is changing not only our physical world, but also our intellectual, social, and moral worlds. We are realizing that our situation is profoundly unsafe, interdependent, and uncertain. What, then, does climate change demand of us, as human beings and as economists? A discipline of economics based on Enlightenment notions of mechanism and disembodied rationality is not suited to present problems. This essay suggests three major requirements: first, that we take action; second, that we work together; and third, that we focus on avoiding the worst, rather than obtaining the optimal. The essay concludes with suggestions of specific steps that economists can take as researchers, teachers, and in our other roles.

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File URL: http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/11-02EthicsandEconomists.pdf
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Paper provided by GDAE, Tufts University in its series GDAE Working Papers with number 11-02.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dae:daepap:11-02
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  1. Richard B. Howarth, 2003. "Discounting and sustainability: towards reconciliation," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 87-97.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
  3. Elizabeth Stanton, 2011. "Negishi welfare weights in integrated assessment models: the mathematics of global inequality," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 417-432, August.
  4. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  5. Simon Dietz & Nicholas Stern, 2008. "Why Economic Analysis Supports Strong Action on Climate Change: A Response to the Stern Review's Critics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 94-113, Winter.
  6. Jonathan M. Harris, . "01-09 "Macroeconomic Policy and Sustainability"," GDAE Working Papers 01-09, GDAE, Tufts University.
  7. Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
  8. Kevin P. Gallagher & Francisco Aguayo, . "01-06 "The $6.1 Million Dollar Question"," GDAE Working Papers 01-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
  9. Ackerman, Frank & Munitz, Charles, 2012. "Climate damages in the FUND model: A disaggregated analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 219-224.
  10. Frank Ackerman & Ian J. Finlayson, . "06-07 “The Economics of Inaction on Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis”," GDAE Working Papers 06-07, GDAE, Tufts University.
  11. Benedetto Gui & Luca Stanca, 2010. "Happiness and relational goods: well-being and interpersonal relations in the economic sphere," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 105-118, June.
  12. Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Economics: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192853455, March.
  13. Dasgupta, Partha, 2005. "What Do Economists Analyze And Why: Values Or Facts?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 221-278, October.
  14. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
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