Cover image for Toward sustainable development : an ecological economics approach
Title:
Toward sustainable development : an ecological economics approach
Author:
Lawn, Philip A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boca Raton : Lewis Publishers : International Society for Ecological Economics, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
462 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781566704113
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HD75.6 .L38 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

By now, most people in the ecological and environmental fields have heard of sustainable development, but how many know how we go about getting there, and if we are achieving it? By synthesizing the many disparate elements of the field of Ecological Economics, Toward Sustainable Development: An Ecological Economics Approach combines analysis, theory, and empiricism to answer the whats, whys, and hows of moving towards sustainable development.

Since the ecological economics approach to sustainable development is still a relatively new paradigm, its long-term success rests heavily on the formalized establishment of the most basic and fundamental principles. This volume discusses the formation of these principles and their implementation in the real world. Lawn establishes the ground-rules by showing that development need not be achieved at the expense of ecological sustainability. He presents the tools, guidelines, and conceptual framework necessary to move toward sustainable development.

Filled with figures, tables, and illustrations, Toward Sustainable Development: An Ecological Economics Approach systematically develops a conceptual framework from which to design workable policies. The author shows that development and ecological sustainability don't have to be trade-offs but can be complimentary and outlines a range of economic and non-economic indicators to measure performance.


Author Notes

Philip A. Lawn received his Bachelor of Economics in 1991 from the Flinders University of South Australia. In 1998, he received his Ph.D. in ecological economics and returned to Flinders University to take on a position as a lecturer in environmental and ecological economics


Table of Contents

1 Introductionp. 1
1.1 The aims and objectives of the bookp. 1
1.2 What is ecological economics?p. 3
1.3 Epiloguep. 7
I An ecological economic view of the sustainable development concept
2 An overview of the sustainable development conceptp. 11
2.1 An examination of a range of sustainable development conceptsp. 11
2.1.1 A brief look at the process that led to the establishment of the sustainable development conceptp. 12
2.1.2 An examination of a range of sustainable development definitionsp. 14
2.1.3 The perception of continuous growth as a sustainable development prerequisitep. 17
2.1.4 Hicksian income and a constant stock of capital as a sustainable development conditionp. 18
2.1.5 Conclusionp. 20
2.2 An ends-means spectrum as the theoretical foundation for a sustainable development conceptp. 21
2.2.1 The movement toward sustainable development as the ecological economic problemp. 25
2.2.2 The interdependent relationship between sustainability and developmentp. 26
3 What is development?p. 29
3.1 Development: a qualitative rather than quantitative phenomenonp. 29
3.1.1 Development requires intermediate ends to be appropriately ranked and the ultimate end to be appropriately conceivedp. 30
3.1.2 What is the ultimate end?p. 32
3.1.3 Development requires the ultimate end to be updated suitablyp. 34
3.2 Establishing a development-based rule of right actionp. 35
3.2.1 Human existential balance demands an optimal stock of human-made capitalp. 37
3.2.2 A principle of limitation as a development-based rule of right actionp. 39
3.2.3 Development requires the maintenance of moral capitalp. 40
3.3 What is development? A summaryp. 41
4 What is sustainability?p. 43
4.1 Does sustainability matter?p. 43
4.1.1 Sustainability and the higher-order moral principle of intergenerational equityp. 43
4.1.2 Sustainability as a development prerequisitep. 44
4.1.3 What needs to be sustained?p. 46
4.2 The instrumental source and sink functions of natural capitalp. 48
4.2.1 The complementarity of human-made and natural capital--how much natural capital is needed?p. 49
4.2.2 Sustainability requires the maintenance of the ecosphere's negentropic potentialp. 52
4.2.3 Establishing guidelines as precepts for operating sustainablyp. 55
4.2.3.1 The source functionp. 55
4.2.3.2 The sink functionp. 58
4.2.3.3 Recyclingp. 60
4.2.4 Sustainability precepts to maintain the ecosphere's source and sink functionsp. 60
4.3 The instrumental life-support function of natural capitalp. 61
4.3.1 Biodiversity and the life-support function of natural capitalp. 63
4.3.2 Implications of the need to preserve biodiversityp. 65
4.4 The intrinsic value of natural capitalp. 66
4.4.1 An obligation to preserve the evolutionary processp. 67
4.4.2 Implications of a biocentric stancep. 69
4.5 What is sustainability? A summaryp. 70
5 What is sustainable development?p. 71
5.1 Reconciling sustainability and developmentp. 71
5.2 Justifying the concept of sustainable developmentp. 73
II Sustainable development, economic theory, and macro policy goals and instruments
6 Sustainable development and an optimal macroeconomic scalep. 77
6.1 What is an optimal macroeconomic scale?p. 77
6.1.1 Standard economics' glittering anomalyp. 78
6.1.2 The uncancelled benefits of economic activityp. 79
6.1.3 The uncancelled costs of economic activityp. 81
6.1.4 Sustainable net benefits and an optimal macroeconomic scalep. 81
6.1.5 Electing to operate at the maximum sustainable macroeconomic scale--when the maximum sustainable scale is the optimal scalep. 84
6.2 Technological progress and an optimal macroeconomic scalep. 85
6.2.1 Introducing the ecological economic efficiency (EEE) identityp. 86
6.2.2 Impact of a beneficial shift of the uncancelled benefits (UB) curvep. 87
6.2.3 Impact of a beneficial shift of the uncancelled cost (UC) curvep. 89
6.2.4 Increasing efficiency--not always implying a larger optimal scalep. 91
6.2.5 Efficiency-increasing and throughput-increasing technological progressp. 93
6.2.6 The ecological economic efficiency identity--breaking the ecological economic problem into manageable yet interdependent subproblemsp. 94
6.3 Additional aspects of an optimal macroeconomic scalep. 95
6.3.1 Limits to the beneficial shift of the uncancelled benefits and uncancelled costs curvesp. 95
6.3.2 A sustainability buffer--allowing for uncontrollable fluctuations in the ecosphere's long-run carrying capacityp. 96
6.3.3 A biocentric versus egocentric optimump. 97
7 Economic efficiency and policy goals and instrumentsp. 99
7.1 Standard versus ecological economic efficiencyp. 99
7.1.1 Recognising trade-offs that contribute to the movement toward sustainable developmentp. 100
7.1.2 Ecological and standard economic efficiencyp. 102
7.2 Macro policy goals and instrumentsp. 104
7.2.1 The erroneous belief that an efficient allocation solves the throughput problemp. 106
7.2.2 Price-determined outcomes and price-influencing decisions--addressing the intermediate macro policy goals in the correct orderp. 110
8 Sustainable development and the role of relative pricesp. 113
8.1 What are the main determinants of relative prices?p. 113
8.2 Relative prices--comparing the standard and ecological economic efficiency contextsp. 115
8.2.1 Low entropy resource pricesp. 115
8.2.1.1 Comparing the standard and ecological economic efficiency contextsp. 116
8.2.1.2 Renewable versus nonrenewable resource reliancep. 120
8.2.2 The relative prices of human-made capitalp. 121
8.2.2.1 Comparing the standard and ecological economic efficiency contextsp. 122
8.2.3 Relative price variations--often reflecting disparate efficiency contextsp. 123
9 Sustainable development and the role of the marketp. 125
9.1 What is a market and what is required for it to operate freely and effectively?p. 125
9.1.1 Why do markets exist?p. 126
9.1.2 The virtues of the market--a function of the market's institutional settingp. 127
9.2 The conventional view of the marketp. 128
9.2.1 The conventional free market view--falsely positing a conflict between freedom and authorityp. 129
9.2.2 The conventional free market view--falsely positing a natural economic order driven by individual self-interestp. 130
9.3 The propensity for the market to erode its own requirementsp. 132
9.3.1 The tendency for competition to be self-eliminatingp. 132
9.3.2 The tendency for the market to deplete moral capitalp. 133
9.3.3 The tendency for the market to deplete its natural capital foundationsp. 133
9.3.4 The tendency for the market to failp. 134
9.4 What is an appropriate market domain?p. 135
9.4.1 Rejecting the conomic imperialist and minimalist market positionsp. 135
9.4.2 The evolution of a more appropriate market domainp. 136
III Sustainable development and the co-evolutionary paradigm
10 The neoclassical economic framework as a product of the Newtonian world viewp. 141
10.1 The need to assess the neoclassical paradigm's atomistic-mechanistic foundationsp. 141
10.2 Characteristic features of the Newtonian world view and the neoclassical economic paradigmp. 143
10.2.1 Characteristic features of the Newtonian world viewp. 143
10.2.2 The neoclassical economic paradigm as a product of the Newtonian world viewp. 145
10.3 The shortcomings of both the Newtonian world view and the neoclassical economic paradigmp. 148
10.3.1 The inadequacies of the neoclassical economic paradigmp. 149
10.3.2 Bridging the gap between theory and reality--the need for a paradigm shiftp. 151
11 The development of a co-evolutionary-based conceptual frameworkp. 153
11.1 The basic principles underlying a co-evolutionary-based conceptual frameworkp. 153
11.1.1 What are the basic features of a coevolutionary world view?p. 153
11.1.2 The global system as one large evolutionary processp. 157
11.2 Fundamental aspects of a co-evolutionary-based conceptual frameworkp. 159
11.2.1 Macro stability and micro chaos--opposing aspects of the principle of self-organisationp. 159
11.2.2 The principle of co-evolutionary balancep. 160
11.2.2.1 The very short termp. 161
11.2.2.2 The short termp. 162
11.2.2.3 The medium termp. 162
11.2.2.4 The long termp. 163
11.2.3 The emergence of systemic instability and chaos through bifurcationp. 164
11.2.3.1 Implicationsp. 165
11.2.4 Rapidity and frequency of systemic chaos through bifurcationp. 165
11.2.4.1 Implicationsp. 166
11.2.5 Sources of surprise--risk, uncertainty, and human ignorancep. 167
11.2.5.1 Risk and uncertaintyp. 167
11.2.5.2 Closed and open ignorancep. 168
11.2.5.3 Implicationsp. 169
11.2.6 Feedback in co-evolutionary processesp. 170
11.2.6.1 Implicationsp. 172
11.2.7 Human belief systems as a driving factor in global co-evolutionary processesp. 173
11.2.7.1 Implicationsp. 173
11.2.8 Institutions as the biological equivalent to the genep. 174
11.2.9 History matters--chreodic evolutionary pathwaysp. 175
11.2.9.1 Implicationsp. 175
11.2.10 Path dependency in coevolutionary processesp. 175
11.2.10.1 Implicationsp. 176
11.3 Concluding remarksp. 177
12 The market: a co-evolutionary feedback mechanismp. 179
12.1 The role of the market in the co-evolutionary processp. 179
12.1.1 Economic genotypes and phenotypesp. 180
12.1.1.1 The economic macrogenotypep. 180
12.1.1.2 The economic macrophenotypep. 181
12.1.2 The price-influencing effect of genotypic and phenotypic evolutionp. 182
12.1.2.1 The price-influencing effect of phenotypic evolutionp. 182
12.1.2.2 The price-influencing effect of genotypic evolutionp. 183
12.1.3 A schematic representation of the co-evolutionary processp. 184
12.2 The market as a co-evolutionary feedback mechanismp. 186
12.2.1 Incorporating recursive feedback into the evolutionary economic schemap. 187
12.2.2 The market as a negative feedback mechanismp. 189
12.2.3 The market as a positive feedback mechanismp. 190
12.3 Further applications of the evolutionary economic schemap. 192
12.3.1 Human responses to positive feedback effectsp. 192
12.3.2 Path-dependency implications for policy implementationp. 195
12.3.3 Externalities from a co-evolutionary perspectivep. 197
12.4 Concluding remarksp. 199
IV Toward sustainable development
13 Toward sustainable development: a framework for policy setting and national accounting reformp. 203
13.1 Policy setting, national accounting, and the optimal macroeconomic scalep. 203
13.1.1 The failure of policy--a failure to embrace the notion of an optimal macroeconomic scalep. 203
13.1.2 Co-evolutionary explanations for the perceived growth imperativep. 204
13.2 A framework for policy setting and national accounting reformp. 206
14 Toward sustainable development: sustainable development indicatorsp. 211
14.1 The need for national accounting reformp. 211
14.2 Reform no. 1: a strong sustainability measure of Hicksian incomep. 212
14.2.1 Establishing a strong sustainability measure of Hicksian incomep. 214
14.2.2 A previous attempt at a national measure of Hicksian incomep. 217
14.2.3 Problems with Hicksian income--the need for a sustainable net benefit indexp. 218
14.3 Reform no. 2: a sustainable net benefit indexp. 219
14.3.1 Nordhaus and Tobin's measure of economic welfarep. 219
14.3.2 Zolotas's index of economic aspects of welfarep. 220
14.3.3 Daly and Cobb's index of sustainable economic welfarep. 221
14.3.4 How useful is the index of sustainable economic welfare?p. 222
14.3.5 Introducing the sustainable net benefit indexp. 224
14.3.6 Account no. 1--the uncancelled benefit accountp. 225
14.3.7 Account no. 2--the uncancelled cost accountp. 229
14.3.8 Calculating the sustainable net benefit indexp. 239
14.3.9 Cross-country comparison of the sustainable net benefit index and indexes of sustainable economic welfarep. 240
14.4 Reform no. 3: a measure of ecological economic efficiencyp. 242
14.4.1 Account no. 3--the human-made capital accountp. 242
14.4.2 Account no. 4--the throughput accountp. 244
14.4.3 Account no. 5--the natural capital stock accountp. 248
14.4.4 Calculating the ecological economic efficiency (EEE) ratiop. 252
14.4.5 Ratio no. 1--the service efficiency of human-made capitalp. 252
14.4.6 Ratio no. 2--the maintenance efficiency of human-made capitalp. 254
14.4.7 Ratio no. 3--the growth efficiency of natural capitalp. 255
14.4.8 Ratio no. 4--the exploitative efficiency of natural capitalp. 257
14.5 Reform no. 4: supplementary sustainable development indicatorsp. 258
14.5.1 Supplementary development indicatorsp. 261
14.5.2 Supplementary sustainability indicatorsp. 266
14.5.3 Ranking the sustainable development performance of different countriesp. 270
15 Toward sustainable development: policy conclusions and prescriptionsp. 273
15.1 Structure of the chapterp. 273
15.2 Policy prescriptions to resolve the macro policy goal of allocative efficiencyp. 274
15.2.1 Establishing a set of properly defined property rightsp. 274
15.2.1.1 Exclusivityp. 275
15.2.1.2 Transferabilityp. 277
15.2.1.3 Universalityp. 277
15.2.2 Minimising transaction costsp. 277
15.2.2.1 The generation and dissemination of information and knowledgep. 277
15.2.2.2 Removing unnecessary nonprice rules and regulationsp. 278
15.2.2.3 Reducing the cost of contract enforcementp. 279
15.2.3 Establishing and maintaining the contestability status of marketsp. 279
15.2.3.1 Dealing with sunk costsp. 280
15.2.3.2 Dealing with instances where sunk costs cannot be detached from the utilising firmp. 280
15.2.3.3 Market deregulation and the privatisation of government instrumentalitiesp. 281
15.2.4 Labour market and corporate reformp. 282
15.2.5 Ameliorating externalitiesp. 284
15.2.5.1 Internalising the user cost of nonrenewable resource depletionp. 286
15.2.5.2 Environmental assurance bondsp. 287
15.3 Policy prescriptions to resolve the macro policy goal of distributional equityp. 288
15.3.1 Minimum and maximum levels of income and wealthp. 288
15.3.1.1 Determining minimum and maximum limits on incomep. 289
15.3.1.2 Determining maximum limits on wealthp. 290
15.3.2 Financing a minimum incomep. 291
15.3.3 Other important redistribution mechanismsp. 293
15.3.3.1 Contestable marketsp. 293
15.3.3.2 Profit-sharing arrangementsp. 293
15.3.3.3 The free and universal entitlement to basic rights and privilegesp. 294
15.4 Policy prescriptions to resolve the macro policy goal of ecological sustainabilityp. 294
15.4.1 Tradeable resource exaction permitsp. 294
15.4.2 Setting and policing of environmental guidelinesp. 297
15.4.3 Sustainable use of agricultural landp. 297
15.4.4 Preservation and restoration of critical ecosystemsp. 298
15.4.5 Transferable birth licensesp. 299
15.4.6 Immigrationp. 300
15.5 Policies to establish and maintain the market's moral capital foundationsp. 301
15.5.1 Minimising the depletion of moral capital through functional property rights and a corporate charterp. 301
15.5.2 The need for functional property rights to incorporate both rigidity and flexibilityp. 302
15.5.3 Re-embedding the macroeconomy into the social and ecological spheresp. 302
15.6 International trade policyp. 303
15.6.1 The arguments for and against free international tradep. 303
15.6.2 Policies to gain the sustainable net benefits of international tradep. 307
15.6.2.1 Restoring comparative advantage by restricting the mobility of financial capitalp. 308
15.6.2.2 Facilitating efficiency-increasing rather than standards-lowering competitionp. 310
15.7 Additional policy conclusions and prescriptionsp. 312
15.7.1 Facilitating efficiency-increasing technological innovationp. 312
15.7.2 Discountingp. 313
15.7.3 Central bank control of a nation's money supplyp. 315
15.7.4 Severing the GDP-employment link and the GDP-poverty linkp. 317
15.7.4.1 Severing the GDP-employment linkp. 317
15.7.4.2 Severing the GDP-poverty linkp. 319
15.7.5 International consensus on sustainable development issuesp. 319
15.7.6 A timetable to gradually introduce sustainable development policiesp. 320
16 Toward sustainable development: the need for moral growthp. 323
16.1 Why sustainable development requires moral growthp. 323
16.1.1 Boulding's three generalised systems of powerp. 324
16.1.2 Moral growth--an essential feature of the integrative system of powerp. 326
16.2 How is moral growth achieved?p. 328
16.2.1 A moral consensus gained through the integrative power of the truthp. 328
16.2.2 The integrative power of truth--created via a learning/teaching processp. 329
16.2.3 The need for nondialectical institutions, organisations, and processesp. 330
16.2.4 Conclusionp. 333
V Appendices
Appendix 1 The uncancelled benefit account for Australia, 1966-1967 to 1994-1995
A1.1 Introductionp. 337
A1.2 Psychic incomep. 338
A1.3 Psychic outgop. 353
Appendix 2 The uncancelled cost account for Australia, 1966-1967 to 1994-1995
A2.1 Introductionp. 367
A2.2 Sacrificed source function of natural capitalp. 368
A2.3 Sacrificed sink function of natural capitalp. 386
A2.4 Sacrificed life-support function of natural capitalp. 391
Appendix 3 The human-made capital account for Australia, 1966-1967 to 1994-1995
A3.1 Introductionp. 395
A3.2 Human-made producer and consumer goodsp. 395
Appendix 4 The natural capital account for Australia, 1966-1967 to 1994-1995
A4.1 Introductionp. 407
A4.2 Nonrenewable resourcesp. 407
A4.3 Renewable resourcesp. 417
Acronymsp. 431
Referencesp. 433
Indexp. 449

Google Preview