Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development
Show Less

Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development

The Ecological Opportunity

Edited by Blandine Laperche, Nadine Levratto and Dimitri Uzunidis

This unique and informative book highlights the relationship between crisis, innovation, and sustainable development, and discusses the necessary conditions required to seize the ecological opportunity. The authors study the strength of change for building a new society, and the theoretical origins and political aspects of environmental concerns. They also sketch the outlines of a global governance system seeking to promote sustainable development.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 7: Sustainable Development: The Teachings of the Physiocrats and the Classics

Pierre Le Masne


Pierre Le Masne INTRODUCTION Between 1750 and 1880, a group of economists, Quesnay, Turgot, Smith, Ricardo, Cournot and Marx, developed interesting ideas concerning the relationships between men and nature. These ideas can help us understand that some important questions about sustainable development were first broached a long time ago. The approaches of these authors are compared with those of neoclassical, ecologist or radical economists today. We call precursor economists the previous group of economists going from Quesnay to Marx. When we speak of Physiocrats, we are essentially dealing with Quesnay and Turgot, even if Turgot moves away from Physiocracy on some points. We classify the Classics as Smith, Ricardo and Marx. The classification of Marx among the Classics may astonish some people. Nevertheless, Marx widely shares the ideas of Smith and Ricardo concerning the relationships between men and nature. Like Smith and Ricardo, he distinguishes ‘value in use’ and ‘value in exchange’, and this distinction is very important for the role of nature in production. We will particularly discuss the role of nature in production. Can nature be considered as a natural capital participating in production as a factor of production (like labour and traditional capital)? This is the current problematic of neoclassical economists (Solow, Stiglitz) and also of some ecologist economists (Daly, Costanza). Or should nature rather be considered as a pool of resources available for humans, that is to say a source of free use value for production, without being as labour, a factor of production which one...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.