Advertisement

Sustainability Science

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1233–1246 | Cite as

Social values and sustainability: a retrospective view on the contribution of economics

  • Julian Richard MassenbergEmail author
Special Feature: Review Article Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability

Abstract

Since the introduction of the ecosystem services (ES) concept, major discussions within sustainability sciences revolved around the values of nature. In these discussions, environmental economic valuation has been heavily criticised for falling short with regard to conceptual, ethical and methodological issues. In most cases, the critique has been limited to the realm of neoclassical economics. In particular, concerns have been voiced that economic valuation, following its individualistic and instrumental perspective, is unable to capture social values of sustainability. However, the current critique against economic theory does not account for the long traditions in economic theory dealing with social values. This is where this paper steps in: it seeks to review contributions of economic theory to the literature on social values. The aim is to shed light on theories outside neoclassical mainstream economics and to identify recurrent themes in these theories. The identified theories (among others: Kapp’s theory of social cost; Harsanyi’s utilitarianism; Sen’s theories of meta-preferences, commitment and sympathy; Buchanan’s constitutional economics; and Musgrave’s theory of merit goods) emphasise the existence of value categories that transcend individual values and narrow self-interest. Thereby, they may contribute to strengthening the theoretical foundation for the analysis and elicitation of social values of sustainability.

Keywords

Social values Shared values Traditions in economics Environmental valuation Ecosystem services Ethics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Bernd Hansjürgens, Nele Lienhoop, Bartosz Bartkowski, Bernd Klauer and Johannes Schiller for critical discussions and constructive comments. I also want to thank Bernd Hansjürgens, Jasper Kenter and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on earlier versions of the paper.

References

  1. Andel N (1984) Zum Konzept der meritorischen Güter. FinanzArchiv Public Financ Anal 42(3):630–648Google Scholar
  2. Anderson BM (1911) Social value: a study in economic theory—critical and constructive. Houghton Mifflin Company, BostonGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartkowski B, Lienhoop N (2018) Beyond rationality, towards reasonableness: enriching the theoretical foundation of deliberative monetary valuation. Ecol Econ 143(Supplement C):97–104.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.07.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker GS (1974) A theory of social interactions. J Political Econ 82(6):1063–1093.  https://doi.org/10.1086/260265 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker GS (1996) Accounting for tastes. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell JF (1953) A history of economic thought. Ronald Press Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowen HR (1943) The interpretation of voting in the allocation of economic resources. Q J Econ 58(1):27–48.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1885754 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowen HR (1948) Toward social economy. Rinehart & Company Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowles S, Gintis H (2000) Walrasian economics in retrospect. Q J Econ 115(4):1411–1439.  https://doi.org/10.1162/003355300555006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruni L, Sugden R (2007) The road not taken: how psychology was removed from economics, and how it might be brought back. Econ J 117(516):146–173.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02005.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buchanan JM (1954a) Individual choice in voting and the market. J Political Econ 62(4):334–343.  https://doi.org/10.1086/257538 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buchanan JM (1954b) Social choice, democracy, and free markets. J Political Econ 62(2):114–123.  https://doi.org/10.1086/257496 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchanan JM (1959) Positive economics, welfare economics, and political-economy. J Law Econ 2(1):124–138.  https://doi.org/10.1086/466556 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Buchanan JM (1961) Simple majority voting, game theory, and resource use. Can J Econ Political Sci Revue canadienne d’Economique et de Science politique 27(3):337–348.  https://doi.org/10.2307/139591 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Buchanan JM (1962) Politics, policy, and the Pigovian margins. Economica 29(113):17–28.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2601517 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Buchanan JM (2008) Constitutional economics. The new Palgrave dictionary of economics. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  17. Buchanan JM, Tullock G (1999) The calculus of consent: logical foundations of constitutional democracy, vol 3. Liberty Fund, IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  18. Bunse L, Rendon O, Luque S (2015) What can deliberative approaches bring to the monetary valuation of ecosystem services? A literature review. Ecosyst Serv 14:88–97.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2015.05.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Christensen PP (1989) Historical roots for ecological economics—biophysical versus allocative approaches. Ecol Econ 1(1):17–36.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0921-8009(89)90022-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Clark JB (1894) Philosophy of wealth: economic principles newly formulated. Ginn & Company, Boston (Original work published 1886) Google Scholar
  21. Clark JB (1914) The distribution of wealth: a theory of wages, interests and profits. The Macmillan Company, New York (Original work published 1899) Google Scholar
  22. Clark JM (1936) Toward a concept of social value. Preface to social economics: essays on economic theory and social problems. Farrar & Rinehart, New York, pp 44–65Google Scholar
  23. Colm G (1965) National goals analysis and marginal utility economies: some non-technical comments on a highly technical topic. FinanzArchiv Public Financ Anal 24(2):209–224Google Scholar
  24. Dasgupta AK (1985) Epochs of economic theory. Basil Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  25. Duesenberry JS (1949) Income, saving and the theory of consumer behavior. Harvard University, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Dworkin R (1981) What is equality. 1. Equality of welfare. Philos Public Aff 10(3):185–246Google Scholar
  27. Faucheux S, O’Connor M (1998) Valuation for sustainable development: methods and policy indicators. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  28. Gärtner FW (1887) Über die wirtschaftliche Natur des Geldes mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der verschiedenen Wertbegriffe. Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft J Inst Theor Econ 43(2/3):417–473Google Scholar
  29. Gomez-Baggethun E, de Groot R, Lomas PL, Montes C (2010) The history of ecosystem services in economic theory and practice: from early notions to markets and payment schemes. Ecol Econ 69(6):1209–1218.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.11.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gowdy JM (2004) The revolution in welfare economics and its implications for environmental valuation and policy. Land Econ 80(2):239–257.  https://doi.org/10.2307/3654741 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gowdy J, Erickson JD (2005) The approach of ecological economics. Camb J Econ 29(2):207–222.  https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bei033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hansjürgens B, Schröter-Schlaack C, Berghöfer A, Lienhoop N (2017) Justifying social values of nature: economic reasoning beyond self-interested preferences. Ecosyst Serv 23:9–17.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Harsanyi JC (1955) Cardinal welfare, individualistic ethics, and interpersonal comparisons of utility. J Political Econ 63(4):309–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hodgson GM (1989) Institutional economic theory: the old versus the new. Rev Political Econ 1(3):249–269.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09538258900000021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hubacek K, van den Bergh JCJM (2006) Changing concepts of ‘land’ in economic theory: from single to multi-disciplinary approaches. Ecol Econ 56(1):5–27.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.03.033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Irvine KN, O’Brien L, Ravenscroft N, Cooper N, Everard M, Fazey I, Reed MS, Kenter JO (2016) Ecosystem services and the idea of shared values. Ecosyst Serv 21:184–193.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.07.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kapp KW (1936) Planwirtschaft und Aussenhandel. Georg & Cie, GenfGoogle Scholar
  38. Kapp KW (1969) On the nature and significance of social costs. Kyklos 22(2):334–347.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.1969.tb02538.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kapp KW (1970) Environmental disruptions and social costs: a challenge to economists. Kyklos 23(4):833–848.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.1970.tb01047.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kapp KW (1975) The social costs of private enterprise. Schocken Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. Kapp KW (1977) Environment and technology: new frontiers for the social and natural sciences. J Econ Issues 11(3):527–540.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00213624.1977.11503460 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kapp KW (1978) The social costs of business enterprise. Spokesman, NottinghamGoogle Scholar
  43. Kapp KW (1985) The humanization of the social sciences. University Press of America, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  44. Kenter JO, Reed MS, Irvine KN, O’Brien E, Brady E, Bryce R, Christie M, Church A, Cooper N, Davies A, Hockley N, Fazey I, Jobstvogt N, Molloy C, Orchard-Webb J, Ravenscroft N, Ryan M, Watson V (2014) UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on. Work package report 6: shared, plural and cultural values of ecosystems. Cambridge, UNEP-WCMCGoogle Scholar
  45. Kenter JO, O’Brien L, Hockley N, Ravenscroft N, Fazey I, Irvine KN, Reed MS, Christie M, Brady E, Bryce R, Church A, Cooper N, Davies A, Evely A, Everard M, Fish R, Fisher JA, Jobstvogt N, Molloy C, Orchard-Webb J, Ranger S, Ryan M, Watson V, Williams S (2015) What are shared and social values of ecosystems? Ecol Econ 111:86–99.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.01.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kenter JO, Bryce R, Christie M, Cooper N, Hockley N, Irvine KN, Fazey I, O’Brien L, Orchard-Webb J, Ravenscroft N, Raymond CM, Reed MS, Tett P, Watson V (2016a) Shared values and deliberative valuation: future directions. Ecosyst Serv 21:358–371.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.10.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kenter JO, Reed MS, Fazey I (2016b) The deliberative value formation model. Ecosyst Serv 21:194–207.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.09.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kenter JO, Raymond C, Van Riper CJ, Azzopardi E, Brear MR, Calcagni F, Christie I, Christie M, Fordham A, Gould RK, Ives CD, Hejnowicz AP, Gunton R, Horcea-Milcu A, Kendal D, Kronenberg J, Massenberg JR, O’Connor S, Ravenscroft N, Rawluk A, Raymond IJ, Rodríguez-Morales J, Thankappan S (2019) Loving the mess: navigating diversity and conflict in social values for sustainability. Sustain Sci.Google Scholar
  49. Kurz HD (2003) Marginalism, classicism and socialism in German-speaking countries, 1871–1932. In: Steedman I (ed) Socialism and Marginalism in economics, 1870–1930. Routledge, London, pp 15–94Google Scholar
  50. Lo AY, Spash CL (2013) Deliberative monetary valuation: in search of a democratic and value plural approach to environmental policy. J Econ Surv 27(4):768–789.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6419.2011.00718.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Marglin SA (1963) The social rate of discount and the optimal rate of investment. Q J Econ 77(1):95–111.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1879374 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Marx K (1967) Capital: volume 1: a critical analysis of capitalist production. International Publishers, New York (Original work published 1867) Google Scholar
  53. Menzel S, Green TL (2013) Sovereign citizens and constrained consumers: why sustainability requires limits on choice. Environ Values 22(1):59–79.  https://doi.org/10.3197/096327113X13528328798273 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003) Ecosystems and human well-being: a framework for assessment. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  55. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005a) Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends, vol 1. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  56. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005b) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  57. Mirowski P (1991) More heat than light: economics as social physics, physics as nature’s economics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  58. Mooney H, Ehrlich P (1997) Ecosystem services: a fragmentary history. In: Daily G (ed) Nature’s services. DC Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  59. Munda G (2000) Conceptualising and responding to complexity. Cambridge Research for the Environment, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  60. Musgrave RA (1957) A multiple theory of budget determination. FinanzArchiv Public Financ Anal 17(3):333–343Google Scholar
  61. Musgrave RA (1959) The theory of public finance: a study in public economy. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  62. Musgrave RA (2008) Merit goods. In: Durlauf SN, Blume LE (eds) The new Palgrave dictionary of economics, 2nd edn. Palgrave, BasingstokeGoogle Scholar
  63. Musgrave RA, Musgrave PB (1989) Public finance in theory and practice, 5th edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  64. Niemeyer S, Spash CL (2001) Environmental valuation analysis, public deliberation, and their pragmatic syntheses: a critical appraisal. Environ Plan C Gov Policy 19(4):567–585.  https://doi.org/10.1068/c9s CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Norton B, Costanza R, Bishop RC (1998) The evolution of preferences: why ‘sovereign’ preferences may not lead to sustainable policies and what to do about it. Ecol Econ 24(2):193–211.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(97)00143-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. O’Hara SU, Stagl S (2002) Endogenous preferences and sustainable development. J Socio Econ 31(5):511–527.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1053-5357(02)00134-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Orchard-Webb J, Kenter JO, Bryce R, Church A (2016) Deliberative democratic monetary valuation to implement the ecosystem approach. Ecosyst Serv 21:308–318.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.09.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Parks S, Gowdy J (2013) What have economists learned about valuing nature? A review essay. Ecosyst Serv 3:E1–E10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2012.12.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pigou AC (1920) The economics of welfare. MacMillan and Co, LondonGoogle Scholar
  70. Popper K (1962) The open society and its enemies: volume I: the spell of Plato. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  71. Quesnay F (2003) General maxims for the economic government of an agricultural kingdom. In: Meek RL (ed) The economics of physiocracy: essays and translations. Routledge, London, pp 231–262Google Scholar
  72. Ravenscroft N (2019) A new normative economics for the formation of shared social values. Sustain Sci.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0652-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rawls J (2009) A theory of justice. Harvard University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Raymond CM, Kenter JO, Plieninger T, Turner NJ, Alexander KA (2014) Comparing instrumental and deliberative paradigms underpinning the assessment of social values for cultural ecosystem services. Ecol Econ 107:145–156.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.07.033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Renner A (1999) Some methodological reflections a plea for a constitutional ecological economics. In: Köhn J, Gowdy J, Hinterberger F, van der Straaten J (eds) Sustainability in question: the search for a conceptual framework. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 319–340Google Scholar
  76. Ricardo D (2001) On the principles of political economy and taxation. Batoche Books, Kitchener (Original work published 1821) Google Scholar
  77. Rodbertus JK (1842) Zur Erkenntniss unsrer staatswirtschaftlichen Zustände. G. Barnewitz, FriedlandGoogle Scholar
  78. Samuelson PA (1938) A note on the pure theory of consumer’s behaviour. Economica 5(17):61–71.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2548836 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Samuelson PA (1954) The pure theory of public expenditure. Rev Econ Stat 36(4):387–389.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1925895 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Say JB (2008) A treatise on political economy. Auburn, Ludwig von Mises Institute (Original work published 1821) Google Scholar
  81. Schumpeter J (1909) On the concept of social value. Q J Econ 23(2):213–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Seligman ERA (1901) Social elements in the theory of value. Q J Econ 15(3):321–347.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1885195 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sen A (1977) Rational fools: a critique of the behavioral foundations of economic theory. Philos Public Aff 6(4):317–344Google Scholar
  84. Sen A (1982) Choice, ordering and morality. In: Sen A (ed) Choice, welfare, and measurement. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 74–83Google Scholar
  85. Smart RN (1958) Negative utilitarianism. Mind 67(268):542–543.  https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXVII.268.542 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Spash CL (2007) Deliberative monetary valuation (DMV): issues in combining economic and political processes to value environmental change. Ecol Econ 63(4):690–699.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.02.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. TEEB (2010) The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: ecological and economic foundations. Abingdon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  88. Vatn A (2009) An institutional analysis of methods for environmental appraisal. Ecol Econ 68(8–9):2207–2215.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.04.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Veblen T (1898) Why is economics not an evolutionary science? Q J Econ 12(4):373–397.  https://doi.org/10.2307/1882952 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Veblen T (1918) The theory of the leisure class: an economic study of institutions. B. W. Huebsch, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  91. Ver Eecke W (1998) The concept of a “merit good” the ethical dimension in economic theory and the history of economic thought or the transformation of economics into socio-economics. J Socio Econ 27(1):133–153.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1053-5357(99)80081-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wagner A (1878) Einiges von und über Rodbertus-Jagetzow. Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft J Inst Theor Econ 34:199–237Google Scholar
  93. Ware NJ (1931) The physiocrats: a study in economic rationalization. Am Econ Rev 21(4):607–619Google Scholar
  94. Wicksell K (1896) Finanztheoretische Untersuchungen: Nebst Darstellung und Kritik des Steuerwesens Schwedens. Gustav Fischer, JenaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department EconomicsHelmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations