IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Introducing Environmental Ethics into Economic Analysis: Some insights from Hans Jonas’ Responsibility Principle


  • Damien J.A. BAZIN
  • Sylvie FERRARI
  • Richard B. HOWARTH


This paper addresses how environmental ethics could be incorporated in economic analysis and more particularly how the Responsibility Principle of H. Jonas can provide useful insights into the analysis of sustainability issues. The challenges of environmental and social sustainability in terms of intergenerational fairness are analysed and involve a moral duty applicable to economic governance. The paper also explores to what extent responsibility, as an alternative to utilitarianism and as a principle facilitating the coordination of the agents involved, can be a first step towards the long-term and sustainable conservation of Nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Damien J.A. BAZIN & Sylvie FERRARI & Richard B. HOWARTH, 2018. "Introducing Environmental Ethics into Economic Analysis: Some insights from Hans Jonas’ Responsibility Principle," Cahiers du GREThA 2018-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée(GREThA).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2018-17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
    2. Stefan Bayer, 2003. "Generation-adjusted discounting in long-term decision-making," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 1133-1149.
    3. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Paper 281, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    4. Jérôme Ballet & Damien Bazin & Jean-Luc Dubois & François-Régis Mahieu, 2013. "Freedom, Responsibility and Economics of the Person," Post-Print halshs-00930924, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. Sylvie Ferrari & J. Mery, 2008. "Equité intergénérationnelle et préoccupations environnementales. Réflexions autour de l'actualisation," Post-Print hal-00274276, HAL.
    7. Stefanie Glotzbach & Stefan Baumgartner, 2012. "The Relationship between Intragenerational and Intergenerational Ecological Justice," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(3), pages 331-355, August.
    8. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    9. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-149.
    10. Joseph Stiglitz, 1974. "Growth with Exhaustible Natural Resources: Efficient and Optimal Growth Paths," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 123-137.
    11. Claude Henry, 1990. "Efficacité économique et impératifs éthiques : l'environnement en copropriété," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 41(2), pages 195-214.
    12. Amartya Sen, 2013. "The Ends and Means of Sustainability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 6-20, February.
    13. N. Gagnon & N. Lewis & Sylvie Ferrari, 2008. "Environnement et pauvreté : regards croisés entre l'éthique et la justice environnementales," Post-Print hal-00248520, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Environmental ethics; intergenerational fairness; responsibility principle; self-binding behaviour; sustainability.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2018-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ernest Miguelez). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.