© 2020

Introduction to Buddhist Economics

The Relevance of Buddhist Values in Contemporary Economy and Society


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. The Subject and Framework

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 3-27
  3. The Suffering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 41-41
    2. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 43-55
  4. The Cause

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
  5. The Cessation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 75-88
    3. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 89-101
    4. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 103-115
  6. The Path

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 133-145
    3. Ernest C. H. Ng
      Pages 161-176
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 193-201

About this book


Living in a market-driven economy where short-term profit and economic growth appear to be the ultimate goal, this book explores how Buddhist teachings could bridge the divide between our spiritual and material needs and reconcile the tension between doing good for social interest and doing well for financial success. This book serves as a pioneering effort to systematically introduce Buddhist Economics as an interdisciplinary subject to audience with limited background in either Buddhism or economics. It elaborates some core concepts in Buddhist teachings, their relevance to economics, and means of achieving sustainability for individuals, society and the environment with the cultivation of ethical living and well-being. Through scholarly research from relevant fields including Buddhist studies, economics, behavioral finance, cognitive science, and psychology, this book illustrates the relevance of Buddhist values in the contemporary economy and society, as well as the efficacy of Buddhist perspectives on decision-making in daily life.


buddhism Buddhist economics impact finance sustainable development Buddhist ethics sdg Dāna sustainability Social Entrepreneurship

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Buddhist StudiesThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

About the authors

Ernest C. H. Ng is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Centre of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong, China, where he teaches an undergraduate course on Buddhism and Economics. His research interests include Buddhist economics, the intersection of spirituality and materiality, sustainable decision-making and mindfulness. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Tung Lin Kok Yuen, a Buddhist NGO with over 80 years of history dedicated to Buddhist teachings, education, and community services in Hong Kong. Prior to that he was the Chief Investment Officer at Sumeru Capital and a Vice President at Morgan Stanley's Principal Strategies team with over 15 years of experience in investment banking and asset management.  

Bibliographic information


“Dr. Ernest Ng's work on Buddhist economics is an in-depth disquisition on a subject that has great contemporary relevance. The reader will not fail to notice how Buddhism combines economics with ethics. As Dhammapada, the Buddhist anthology of ethics says, ‘contentment is the highest wealth.’” (Yakupitiyage Karunadasa, Professor Emeritus, University of Kelaniya)

“At a time when economic issues are challenging governments and corporations with problems as far reaching as climate changes, wealth distribution, safety accountability, and sustainable practices, it is important to hear from any source that offers possible solutions. In this volume, we are led to explore the question of whether Buddhist teachings can change economic strategies to better serve our world. Can these teachings help our commercial enterprise in the goal of avoiding harm to ourselves and the environment while helping to create a sustainable and perhaps more profitable way of doing business?” (Lewis Lancaster, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley)

“Ernest Ng is an extremely inspiring advocate for the exploring of the relevance of Buddhist economics. This book offers an urgently needed perspective based on deep experience in Buddhist Economics and on thorough scholarship. Anyone concerned about how economics can bring real benefit to mankind and environment should read this book.” (Hendrik Opdebeeck, Professor of Philosophy, University of Antwerp)

“In what is a first of its kind, Dr. Ernest Ng weaves the wisdom of Buddhism with the power of market economics into a coherent whole, presented for students, teachers and investors seeking to manage capital on an integrated basis to optimize blended value. Introducing foundational concepts in economics and Buddhism, Dr. Ng brings his deep experience as a long-time professor of Buddhist Economics to share his insights and inform our perspectives.” (Jed Emerson, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Social Investment)