Giles Atkinson and Sam Fankhauser
The unprecedented advances in economic development witnessed over the past decades cannot continue if economic progress comes at the expense of the natural environment. The Sustainable Development Goals, agreed globally in 2015, define a vision of human development where economic, social and environmental domains interact to shape the prospects for future prosperity. This timely literature review highlights the contribution of economics to the study of sustainable development. It discusses some of the most influential articles on the topic by economists over the past fifty years. Environmental sustainability, an inherently interdisciplinary topic, is analysed from the perspectives of applied microeconomics, environmental and resource economics, ecological economics, development economics and public economics. Written by two subject experts, this research review is indispensable for anyone interested or working in the field.