Wellbeing, Nature, and Moral Values in Economics : How Modern Economic Analysis Faces the Challenges Ahead book cover
1st Edition

Wellbeing, Nature, and Moral Values in Economics
How Modern Economic Analysis Faces the Challenges Ahead

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 15, 2023
ISBN 9781032072562
February 15, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
200 Pages

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

Drawing on more modern expressions of economic analysis, this book explores the interplay between wellbeing, nature and moral values in economics.

In standard accounts of economics, these three themes are typically treated in isolation from each other, or else overlooked entirely. This book argues that due to this blinkered approach, standard economic analysis is poorly equipped to deal with global contemporary challenges including climate change, biodiversity loss, sustainability, and the risk of pandemic diseases. The book reviews the economic literature to show that the last few decades has seen the re-insertion into economic analysis of human wellbeing, natural resources and moral values: three themes present in early economic thought that are highly relevant to the challenges ahead. The book argues for the greater integration of these three themes as the natural environment is crucial to human wellbeing, and moral values are essential for environmentally benign behaviors. The book also focuses on how specific moral principles, identified by contemporary moral psychology, actually shape economic behavior rather than how they should shape economic behavior.

The book will be of significant interest to readers in the economics and social sciences, particularly behavioral economics and social psychology.

Table of Contents

List of tables

  1. Introduction: Economics and the Challenges Ahead
  2. Some Challenges Ahead

    The Challenges Ahead as Public Good Problems and the Role of Moral Values

    Nature, Wellbeing and, Moral Values in Economics: Past and Present

    Aims and Scope of the Book

    Overview of the Subsequent Chapters


    Part I. Welfare, Wellbeing, and the Environment

  3. Measuring Welfare
  4. Introduction

    New Measures of Welfare

    Subjective Wellbeing and Economics

    Subjective Wellbeing as a Welfare Measure



  5. Economic Determinants of Wellbeing
  6. Introduction

    Microeconomic Factors of Wellbeing

    Macroeconomic Factors of Wellbeing


    Implications for Public Policy



  7. Wellbeing and the Environment
  8. Introduction

    Air Pollution

    Climate Change

    Environmental Amenities and Land Use

    Pro-Environmental Behavior



    Part II. Economics, Morality, and the Challenges Ahead

  9. Ethics and Economics
  10. Introduction

    Consequentialism and Deontology

    Normative Accounts of Ethics in Economics

    Ethics and Natural Resource Utilization

    Ethics and Climate Change

    Ethical Behavior and Fairness Preferences: Some Evidence



  11. The Cooperation Dilemma and Deontological Behavior
  12. Introduction

    Social Dilemmas

    Global Public Goods

    International Climate Policy as a Cooperation Dilemma

    Voluntary Public Good Provision and Deontological Behavior




  13. Morality in Modern Economics
  14. Introduction

    Approaches to Morality

    Social Norms and Pro-Environmental Behavior

    Moral Norms and Pro-Environmental Behavior

    Identity, Cognitions, and Climate Change Mitigation



  15. Prospects and Future Directions


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Heinz Welsch is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He formerly held positions at the universities of Cologne and Bonn. His fields of research include environmental, resource and energy economics, economics of subjective wellbeing, and the role of norms and values for economic behavior, and he has published extensively on these topics. His publications on "environment and happiness" were among the first contributions to this field.