Towards an ecological economics of sustainability

Mick Common, Charles Perrings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

208 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Persistent disagreement both as to the interpretation to be given to sustainability, and as to the relation between ecological and economic sustainability, has hindered the development of an ecological economics of sustainable resource use. This paper identifies the main concepts of sustainability deriving from the two disciplines in order to explore the difference implied by an ecological approach to the problem. It is argued that present economic and ecological approaches are largely disjoint, and that they address basically different phenomena. By combining the efficiency requirements of what is usually thought of as economic sustainability with the stability requirements of an ecological approach, it is shown that an intertemporally efficient allocation of resources that satisfies the conditions for constant levels of consumption is not necessary to assure ecological sustainability. Ecological sustainability requires that the allocation of economic resources should not result in the instability of the economy-environment system as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-34
Number of pages28
JournalEcological Economics
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

economic sustainability
ecological economics
environmental sustainability
sustainability
ecological approach
economic resources
resource allocation
economics
resource
resource use
Sustainability
Ecological economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Towards an ecological economics of sustainability. / Common, Mick; Perrings, Charles.

In: Ecological Economics, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1992, p. 7-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{09cb04a98591420885543df269ecf029,
title = "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability",
abstract = "Persistent disagreement both as to the interpretation to be given to sustainability, and as to the relation between ecological and economic sustainability, has hindered the development of an ecological economics of sustainable resource use. This paper identifies the main concepts of sustainability deriving from the two disciplines in order to explore the difference implied by an ecological approach to the problem. It is argued that present economic and ecological approaches are largely disjoint, and that they address basically different phenomena. By combining the efficiency requirements of what is usually thought of as economic sustainability with the stability requirements of an ecological approach, it is shown that an intertemporally efficient allocation of resources that satisfies the conditions for constant levels of consumption is not necessary to assure ecological sustainability. Ecological sustainability requires that the allocation of economic resources should not result in the instability of the economy-environment system as a whole.",
author = "Mick Common and Charles Perrings",
year = "1992",
doi = "10.1016/0921-8009(92)90036-R",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "7--34",
journal = "Ecological Economics",
issn = "0921-8009",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards an ecological economics of sustainability

AU - Common, Mick

AU - Perrings, Charles

PY - 1992

Y1 - 1992

N2 - Persistent disagreement both as to the interpretation to be given to sustainability, and as to the relation between ecological and economic sustainability, has hindered the development of an ecological economics of sustainable resource use. This paper identifies the main concepts of sustainability deriving from the two disciplines in order to explore the difference implied by an ecological approach to the problem. It is argued that present economic and ecological approaches are largely disjoint, and that they address basically different phenomena. By combining the efficiency requirements of what is usually thought of as economic sustainability with the stability requirements of an ecological approach, it is shown that an intertemporally efficient allocation of resources that satisfies the conditions for constant levels of consumption is not necessary to assure ecological sustainability. Ecological sustainability requires that the allocation of economic resources should not result in the instability of the economy-environment system as a whole.

AB - Persistent disagreement both as to the interpretation to be given to sustainability, and as to the relation between ecological and economic sustainability, has hindered the development of an ecological economics of sustainable resource use. This paper identifies the main concepts of sustainability deriving from the two disciplines in order to explore the difference implied by an ecological approach to the problem. It is argued that present economic and ecological approaches are largely disjoint, and that they address basically different phenomena. By combining the efficiency requirements of what is usually thought of as economic sustainability with the stability requirements of an ecological approach, it is shown that an intertemporally efficient allocation of resources that satisfies the conditions for constant levels of consumption is not necessary to assure ecological sustainability. Ecological sustainability requires that the allocation of economic resources should not result in the instability of the economy-environment system as a whole.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027047260&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027047260&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0921-8009(92)90036-R

DO - 10.1016/0921-8009(92)90036-R

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 7

EP - 34

JO - Ecological Economics

JF - Ecological Economics

SN - 0921-8009

IS - 1

ER -