The Environment and Business Ethics
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Perhaps the most important ethical assault in recent years on the ethics of market capitalism has come from the environmental movement It is assumed that the particular motivations of capitalism, self-interest and the desire for profit, must necessarily lead to a lack of concern for the environment, since each individual transactor cannot be expected to take care of a matter about which he has no immediate interest Naturally the business community, and especially large-scale corporations, are assumed to be the major (indeed the only) culprits in the phenomenon of environmental depredation. Most of the ethical critics of business seem unaware of the direct role of government in the destruction of wildlife and damage to the atmosphere.1 Equally important is its indirect role in these phenomena through its failure to provide the right incentive structure for the reconciliation of private and public interests.
KeywordsBusiness Ethic Environmental Group Capitalist Society Pollution Permit Business Agent
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- 1.See J. Shaw, ‘Environmental Dangers’, in PERC Resource Book on Pollution, Trade and Aid (Bozeman, Montana: Political Economy Research Center, 1991) pp. 1–4.Google Scholar
- 4.These tend to derive from the work of the economist A.C. Pigou who developed the idea that there is a difference between marginal social cost and marginal private cost Since the publication of his The Economics of Welfare (London: Macmillan, 1920)Google Scholar
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