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Pursuing the “Public Good:” Sustainable Development as a Common Goal for Social and Environmental Management


  • Secchi Davide

    (Department of Economics, University of Insubria, Italy)

  • Zatti Andrea

    () (Department of Public and Territorial Economics, Faculty of Political Science, University of Pavia, Italy)


The environmental and social responsibility “movements” affected jointly corporate behavior and public policy in many countries, while their theoretical backgrounds have resulted often quite different and independent. Despite this divide, we argue that the two approaches share many elements in common, and in this paper we try to analyze advantages that contributions from the two fields of studies should reach if considered as one. The paper is divided into three parts. After few methodological points (section 2), the third section overviews social, environmental, and sustainable issues from a social costs, and externality theory angle. The fourth part focuses on the European framework, where the European Union is on the forefront of the promotion of socially responsible practices. The fifth section is dedicated to present some operative managerial issues. We suggest that this multi-perspective and multi-actors approach well fits the European context and, in the concluding section we suggest that sustainable development is driving the European continent towards a new social and ethical frontier.

Suggested Citation

  • Secchi Davide & Zatti Andrea, 2005. "Pursuing the “Public Good:” Sustainable Development as a Common Goal for Social and Environmental Management," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf0609, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
  • Handle: RePEc:ins:quaeco:qf0609

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Cecilia Chaing & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    6. Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2003. "Simon's selection theory: Why docility evolves to breed successful altruism," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 229-244, April.
    7. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279-279.
    8. Simon, Herbert A, 1979. "Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 493-513, September.
    9. Khalil, Elias L., 2004. "What is altruism?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-123, February.
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    corporate social responsibility; ethics; externalities; sustainable development;

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