Sustainability and policy : limits to economics


    • Australian National University. Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. Fundamental Questions Program


Sustainability and policy : limits to economics

Michael Common

Cambridge University Press, 1995

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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"Published as an outcome of the Fundamental Questions Program of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University"--P. [ii]

Includes bibliographical references and index



Two of the greatest problems facing the human race today are poverty and the threat to the natural environment. Economic growth is routinely advocated as the solution to poverty, but the natural environment is already threatened by current levels of economic activity. This compelling book examines both economic and ecological approaches to this dilemma, and considers policy issues for industrial economies. It also includes a useful review of recent literature in the area. Michael Common argues that economists rarely address threats to sustainability. He suggests that, while economics cannot offer a blueprint for a sustainable society, the use of economic or price incentives can help achieve social goals and address threats to sustainability.This book is a balanced, constructive and original contribution in the rapidly emerging fields of environmental economics and policy.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The world economy: north and south
  • 3. Sustainability
  • 4. history and perspective
  • 5. Thinking about futures
  • 6. Economics
  • 7. Resource and environmental economics
  • 8. Some new economics
  • 9. National Policy
  • 10. The international dimension
  • 11. Postscript.

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