Handbook of Economics and Ethics
Show Less

Handbook of Economics and Ethics

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by Jan Peil and Irene van Staveren

The Handbook of Economics and Ethics portrays an understanding of economic methodology in which facts and values, though distinct, are closely interconnected in a variety of ways. From theory building to data collection, and from modelling to policy evaluation, this encyclopaedic Handbook is at the intersection of economics and ethics.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 5: Buddhist Economics

Juliana Essen

Extract

5 Buddhist economics Juliana Essen Introduction ‘Buddhist economics’ – isn’t that an oxymoron? This surprisingly common query is likely prompted by Buddhism’s stereotype of saffron-robed monks who, after renouncing all worldly possessions and sensations, meditate their way to nibbana1 in peaceful solitude. This image may be at odds with that of a Wall Street stockbroker, the quintessential capitalist, yet few Buddhists are actually monks. Most are ordinary laypeople trying to make a good life (and better rebirth) for themselves and their families. While Buddhist teachings (dhamma) are geared toward the monastic community, the Buddha also provided ethical guidelines to address the householder’s particular needs, aspirations and societal roles. The guidelines relating to an individual’s economic activity – including work and subsequent wealth accumulation, consumption and investment – are the focus here. More precisely, since Buddhism’s ontology and objective differ from those of Western capitalism, the economic means and ends resulting from each ideology logically differ, as does the currency valued: money versus kamma or merit. Though Buddhism is ultimately concerned with individual enlightenment, Buddhist principles have been applied to communities, firms and nations and bear some relevance for the global economy as well. It must be noted that there is a dearth of literature on Buddhist economics. This contribution then, is an early attempt in this nascent field to expound a theory of Buddhist economics based on scant scholarly work, early Theravada Buddhist scripture2 and an example from the author’s field study of an operational model of Buddhist economics. Due to space limitations...

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.