Economics, Equity and the Ecological Predicament
Edited by Joshua Farley and Deepak Malghan
Chapter 8: The importance of a just distribution in a ‘full’ world
My aim in this chapter is to argue that distributional equity, which ought to be a mandatory objective at any time, becomes an even more important consideration in a ‘full’ world – that is, in a world where human-made capital becomes the abundant factor and remaining natural capital becomes the limiting factor. To do this, I shall focus on the ecological economics position that achieving sustainable development requires the resolution of three distinct policy goals. They are: (a) ecological sustainability (ensuring the rate of throughput is no greater than the ecosphere’s regenerative and waste assimilative capacities); (b) distributional equity (ensuring the distribution of income and wealth is fair and just); and (c) allocative efficiency (ensuring the incoming resource flow is allocated to product uses with the highest use value) (Daly, 1996). There are, nevertheless, two other aspects that are critical to achieving sustainable development.
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