Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 7–20

Sustainable marketing, equity, and economic growth: a resource-advantage, economic freedom approach


    • Department of Marketing, Rawls College of BusinessTexas Tech University

DOI: 10.1007/s11747-010-0196-3

Cite this article as:
Hunt, S.D. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2011) 39: 7. doi:10.1007/s11747-010-0196-3


Sustainable marketing may be viewed as marketing that is within, and supportive of, sustainable economic development. Peattie (The Marketing Review 2(2):129–146, 2001) maintains that sustainable economic development poses major challenges for marketing. These challenges concern futurity, equity, and needs/wants. This article focuses on the equity and needs/wants challenges of sustainable development and argues that public policies and programs (of wealthy nations, poor countries, or bodies such as the United Nations) can improve economic equity by promoting the economic growth of poor countries. Furthermore, it argues that a major reason why past efforts to promote the economic growth of poor countries have so often failed is that such (allegedly) pro-growth policies have been guided by an impoverished theory of economic growth. Specifically, this article (1) discusses the implications of sustainable development for marketing, (2) shows seven ways that sustainable marketing and resource-advantage (R-A) theory intersect, (3) argues that the cause of sustainable marketing is furthered by promoting economic growth, (4) identifies the two major, radically different, theories of economic growth: neoclassical, static-equilibrium growth theory and dynamic competition growth theory, (5) shows how the two theories make four radically different, testable predictions, and (6) reviews the empirical evidence concerning the four predictions. The article concludes that the equity and needs/wants challenges of sustainable development and the cause of sustainable development more generally can be addressed by poor nations pursuing economic growth, which in turn implies that public policy should focus not on increasing investment, but on institutions that favor economic freedom and dynamic competition.


Sustainable marketingSustainable developmentResource-advantage theoryDynamic competitionEconomic growthEconomic freedom

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© Academy of Marketing Science 2010