Unsustainability may be considered a consequence of social actions, mainly economic choices, and if we have to pass from economic growth to sustainable development, we need a moral evolution. I focus on the normative issue of sustainability, which claims the establishment of value judgements about society’s welfare functions. The nature of value and its nexus with welfare and morality is a source of controversy in ethics, and this disagreement is reflected also in economics. Philosophers distinguish different ethical doctrines, and welfare economics has to a large extent been influenced by them. I discuss which of the different economic welfare theories are consistent with the main values involved in sustainability and the need of building an environmental macroeconomics. The evolution of sustainable growth theory from models based on selfish altruistic preference to utilitarian models based on moral obligation, leaves nevertheless unsolved the problems of considering objective intrinsic value attributed to many natural resources and strong uncertainty situations. I show that, in order to be consistent with strong and very strong sustainability, a general environmental macroeconomics should be based on Keynes' general view of value and should also consider Keynes’ economic rationality.

Happiness and Sustainability: a Modern Paradox

MARZETTI, SILVA
2007

Abstract

Unsustainability may be considered a consequence of social actions, mainly economic choices, and if we have to pass from economic growth to sustainable development, we need a moral evolution. I focus on the normative issue of sustainability, which claims the establishment of value judgements about society’s welfare functions. The nature of value and its nexus with welfare and morality is a source of controversy in ethics, and this disagreement is reflected also in economics. Philosophers distinguish different ethical doctrines, and welfare economics has to a large extent been influenced by them. I discuss which of the different economic welfare theories are consistent with the main values involved in sustainability and the need of building an environmental macroeconomics. The evolution of sustainable growth theory from models based on selfish altruistic preference to utilitarian models based on moral obligation, leaves nevertheless unsolved the problems of considering objective intrinsic value attributed to many natural resources and strong uncertainty situations. I show that, in order to be consistent with strong and very strong sustainability, a general environmental macroeconomics should be based on Keynes' general view of value and should also consider Keynes’ economic rationality.
Handbooks of the Economics of Happiness
512
531
Marzetti S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/68747
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