The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Sustainability

  • Daniel W. Bromley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2602

Abstract

Sustainability concerns the specification of a set of actions to be taken by present persons that will not diminish the prospects of future persons to enjoy levels of consumption, wealth, utility, or welfare comparable to those enjoyed by present persons. Sustainability grows out of a need for intertemporal ethical rules when one generation can determine the endowment of natural and constructed capital that will be passed on to all subsequent generations. Economic models of sustainability seek axiomatic guidance for the selection of rules regarding natural resource use. Ecologists approach sustainability from a related – though not identical – ethical stance.

Keywords

Exhaustible resources Hartwick’s rule Hotelling, H. Intertemporal efficiency Justified commitment Liability rule Natural assets Precautionary principle Pure theory of savings Ramsey, F. Safe minimum standard Sustainability 
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Notes

Acknowledgment

I am grateful for the comments of Richard C. Bishop and Richard T. Woodward.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel W. Bromley
    • 1
  1. 1.