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A Capability centred approach to environmental sustainability: Is productive employment the missing link between micro-and macro polices?


  • Enrique Delamonica

    () (UNICEF)

  • Santosh Mehrotra

    () (UNDP)


The emphasis on growth has led to an under-emphasis of the micro-impacts of macro-economic policies. Whether growth reduces income-poverty is crucially dependent on its impact on employment. This paper addresses the question: what kind of productive employment can an economy generate that fulfils three objectives: one, personal fulfilment; two, value added; and three, restores the organic link between humans and nature. Growth policies that do not fulfil these criteria fail the test for human capability enhancement with environmental sustainability. Policies which recognize a dual synergy framework like the paper proposes, and which have been demonstrated to fulfil these objectives are described and discussed for specific countries/sectors. A paper for a book: Sustainable Human Development and the Capability Approach, to be edited by Enrica Chiappero Martinetti (Department of Economics, University of Pavia, Italy) & Anantha K. Duraiappah (International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada).

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique Delamonica & Santosh Mehrotra, 2006. "A Capability centred approach to environmental sustainability: Is productive employment the missing link between micro-and macro polices?," Working Papers 13, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipc:wpaper:13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rowthorn, R E, 1977. "Conflict, Inflation and Money," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 215-239, September.
    2. Verspagen, Bart, 1992. "Endogenous innovation in neoclassical growth models: A survey," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 631-662.
    3. Easterly, William, 1999. "Life during growth : international evidence on quality of life and per capita income," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2110, The World Bank.
    4. Abramovitz,Moses, 1989. "Thinking about Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521333962, March.
    5. Smith, Kirk R. & Shuhua, Gu & Kun, Huang & Daxiong, Qiu, 1993. "One hundred million improved cookstoves in China: How was it done?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 941-961, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haagh, Louise, 2011. "Working Life, Well-Being and Welfare Reform: Motivation and Institutions Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 450-473, March.
    2. De Gobbi, Maria Sabrina., 2011. "Mainstreaming environmental issues in sustainable enterprises : an exploration of issues, experiences and options," ILO Working Papers 994620973402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item


    Poverty; macro polices;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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