Frontiers of Environmental Economics
Show Less

Frontiers of Environmental Economics

Edited by Henk Folmer, H. Landis Gabel, Shelby Gerking and Adam Rose

Top European and American scholars contribute to this cutting-edge volume on little-researched areas of environmental and resource economics. Topics include spatial economics, poverty and development, experimental economics, large-scale risk and its management, organizational economics, technological innovation and diffusion and many more.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 13: Resilience and sustainability

Charles Perrings


Charles Perrings 1 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT At its most general, development may be thought of as the evolution of an economic system and the environment by which it is supported. Many of the most significant advances in the economic analysis of the process stem from the realization that the economy and its environment are jointly determined, and that the dynamics of the joint system are highly sensitive to the size and rate of growth of the economy relative to its environment. Development implies a process of evolutionary change: a process that has all the dynamical properties of complex systems. It is characterized by path dependence, sensitivity to initial conditions, non-linearities and discontinuous change around threshold values for both environmental resources and ecological functions. For any economy there are many possible states: that is, there are many equilibria. The sustainability of any particular state (or any particular development path) depends on the properties of the stability domain corresponding to that state. The economic literature on the concept and implementation of sustainability includes two main approaches. The first is associated with the welfarist tradition in philosophy. It assumes that the appropriate way to represent human preferences for future consumption is through the intertemporal welfare function, and the appropriate way to discuss sustainability is via the optimal consumption path for a given intertemporal welfare function (Dasgupta, 1995; Dasgupta and Mäler, 1995). These authors admit that sustainability concepts may have a role in identifying consumption paths that might satisfy the Koopmans axioms but...

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.