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Sustainability 2011, 3(9), 1341-1356; doi:10.3390/su3091341
Article

Accounting for Sustainability: A Dissenting Opinion

Received: 5 August 2011; in revised form: 21 August 2011 / Accepted: 25 August 2011 / Published: 29 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Resource Economics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [324 KB, uploaded 29 August 2011]
Abstract: Discounted-utilitarian welfare, the commonest social objective studied by economists, is the basis for the theory of green accounting in terms of social utility. Sustainability is a different type of social objective. Consequently, green accounting as derived in many empirical models is not appropriate for studying sustainability. Maximin is a consistent foundation for the analysis of sustainability, both weak and strong, that provides conceptually correct accounting prices. These prices are not yet practicable for real economies, however, and must await further advances. Sustainable development is a generalization of the notion of sustainability and can be analyzed using a generalization of maximin.
Keywords: sustainability; sustainable development; present value; welfare; maximin; green accounting sustainability; sustainable development; present value; welfare; maximin; green accounting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cairns, R.D. Accounting for Sustainability: A Dissenting Opinion. Sustainability 2011, 3, 1341-1356.

AMA Style

Cairns RD. Accounting for Sustainability: A Dissenting Opinion. Sustainability. 2011; 3(9):1341-1356.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cairns, Robert D. 2011. "Accounting for Sustainability: A Dissenting Opinion." Sustainability 3, no. 9: 1341-1356.


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