The economic dimension is one of the central perspectives in both sustainable development and education for sustainable development. The role of the economy in sustainable development has been discussed extensively over the years and different views exist about how economic activities affect other sustainability dimensions. How young people view the relationships among economic perspectives and sustainable development seems to be an underemphasized perspective in sustainability education and underexplored in the field of sustainability education research. This study uses cluster analysis, which is an explorative approach, to identify and analyze young peoples’ views of the relationships between economic growth, economic development and sustainable development. Six hundred and thirty eight students (age 18–19) from 15 schools across Sweden responded to a questionnaire probing (1) views on these relationships, and (2) their environmental consciousness. Four clusters of students differing in their views on the economy in sustainable development were identified in the analysis: un-differentiating positive, nuanced ambivalent, two-way convinced, and critical. Further analysis indicated that some groups differed in their perception of the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Implications of these findings are discussed from the perspective of education for sustainable development.
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