View More View Less
  • 1 University of Oxford, U.K.
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $25.00

1 year subscription (Individual Only)

USD  $700.00

This paper explores the relationship between inequality and sustainability both of which are dominant considerations today. Inequality was an important preoccupation of Kaldor, although he was not concerned with sustainability, as this has only recently become an all-important issue. The paper identifies relevant criteria for determining the desirable distribution of incomes from a sustainability perspective, including considerations of justice and of instrumentality. It concludes that justice demands much greater equality of emissions (and incomes) among individuals, given that the total “safe” global emissions of carbon dioxide are limited. Instrumental considerations are not so clear-cut, as evidence suggests that sometimes greater inequality leads to reduced emissions. However, meta considerations, including motivations for pursuing economic growth and conditions likely to realise international agreements on restraining emissions, suggest that more equality within and between countries is needed to promote sustainability.

  • Baker, J. M. (1998): The Effect of Community Structure on Social Forestry Outcomes: Insights from Chota Nagpur, India. Mountain Research and Development, 18(1): 5162.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baland, J. M.Platteau, J. P. (2007): The Ambiguous Impact of Inequality on Local Resoruce Management. World Development, 27(5): 773788.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berg, A.Ostry, J. D.Zettelmeyer, J. (2008): What Makes Growth Sustained? IMF Working Paper, No. 59, Washington, D. C.

  • Borghese, S. (2006): Income Inequality and the Environmental Kuznets Curve. In: Franzini, M.Vercelli, A. (eds): Environment, Inequality and Collectvie Action. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boyce, J. K. (1994): In Equality as a Cause of Environmental Degradation. Ecological Economics, 11(3): 169178.

  • Boyce, J. K. (2007): Is Inequality Bad for the Environment? Working Paper Series, No. 135. Amherst, University of Massachusetts, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carbonbrief (2016): The 35 Countries Cutting the Link Between Economic Growth and Emissions. https://www.carbonbrief.org/the-35-countries-cutting-the-link-between-economic-growth-andemissions.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Commoner, B. (1972): A Bulletin Dialogue on “The Closing Circle”: Response. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 28(5): 4256.

  • Costantini, V.Martini, C. (2006): A Modified Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sustainable Development Assessment Usingpanel Data. Working Paper, No. 148. Department of Economics, Roma Tre University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dasgupta, S.Mody, A.Roy, S.Wheeler, D. (1995): Environmental Regulation and Develoment: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, No. 1448. Washington, D. C.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Easterlin, R. A. (1974): Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence. In: David, P.Reder, M. (eds): Nations and Households in Economic Growth. New York: Academic Press, pp. 89125.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ehrlich, P. R.Holdren, J. (1971): Impact of Population Growth. Science, 171(3977): 12121217.

  • Ewing, B.Moore, D.Goldfinger, S.Oursler, A.Reed, A.Wackernage, M. (2010): The Ecological Footprint Atlas 2010. Oakland: Global Footprint Network.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Golley, J.Meng, X. (2012): Income Inequality and Carbo Doxide Emissions: The Case of Chinese Uran Households. Energy Economics, 34(6): 18641872.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Graham, C. (2011): The Pursuit of Happiness an Economy of Well-Being. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

  • Grossman, G. M.Kruger, A. B. (1995): Economic Growth and the Environment. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(2): 353377.

  • Grubb, M.Müller, B.Butler, L. (1999): The Relationship between Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Economic Growth. Oxbridge Study on Co2-GDP Relationships, Phase 1 Results. Cambridge University, Department of Applied Economics.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grunewald, N.Klasen, S.Marinez-Zarzosa, I.Muris, C. (2012): Income Inequality and Carbon Emissions. Discussion Paper 92. Courant Research Centre, University of Gottingen.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hansen, J. et al. (2013): Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature. Plos ONE, 8(12): http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081648

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heerink, N.Mulatu, A.Bulte, E. (2001): Income Inequality and the Enrvionment: Aggregation Bias in Environmental Kuznets Curves. Ecological Economics, 38(3): 359367.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jorgenson, A. K.Schor, J. B.Knight, K. W.Huang, X. (2016): Domestic Inequality and Carbon Emissions in Comparative Perspective. Sociological Forum, 31(1): 770786.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaldor, N. (1955–1956): Alternative Theories of Distribution. The Review of Economic Studies, 23(2): 83100.

  • Koop, G.Tole, L. (2001): Deforestation, Distribution and Development. Global Environmental Change, 11(3): 193202.

  • Layard, R. (2011): Happiness (Revised edition). London: Penguin.

  • Mikkelson, G. M.Gonzalez, A.Peterson, G. D. (2007): Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss. Plos ONE, 2(5): e444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000444.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Molinas, J. R. (1998): The Impact of Inequality, Gender, External Assistance and Social Capital on Local-Level Collective Action. World Development, 26(3): 413431.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neumayer, E. (2010): Weak Versus Strong Sustainability. Exploring The Limits of Two Opposing Paradigms. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Nuccitelli, D. (2015): Fossil Fels are more Expensive than You Think. The Guardian, 18 March.

  • OECD (2012): The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050. Key Findings on Climate Change [Online]. http://www.oecd.org/env/cc/outlook to 2050_climate change chapter_higlights-fina-8- pager-updated nov2012.pdf. [Accessed September 11, 2016.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Olson, M. (1965): The Logic of Collective Action. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

  • Pigou, A. C. (1920): The Economics of Welfare. London: Macmillan.

  • Piketty, T. (2014): Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

  • Ravallion, M.Heil, M.Jalan, J. (2000): Carbon Emissions and Income Inequality. Oxford Economic Papers, 52(4): 651669.

  • Rawls, J. (2004): Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Delhi: Universal Law Publishing Co. Ltd.

  • Raworth, K. (2012): A Safe and Just Space for Humanity: Can We Live inside the Doughnut. OXFAM Discussion Papers. Oxford.

  • Robbins, L. R. B. (1945): An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (Second edition). London: Macmillan.

  • Rousseau, J. J. (1968, first edition 1762): The Social Contract. London: Penguin.

  • Scruggs, L. A. (1998): Political and Economic Inequality and the Environment. Ecological Economics, 26(3): 259275.

  • Selden, T.Song, D. (1994): Environmental Quality and Development: Is there a Kuznets Curve for Air Polluti Emissions? Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 27(2): 147162.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sen, A. K. (1985): Commodities and Capabilities. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

  • Sen, A. K. (1999): Development as Freedom (Daf). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Sen, A. K. (2009): The Idea of Justice. London: Allen Lane.

  • Shafik, N. (1994): Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis. Oxford Economic Papers, 46 (S): 147162.

  • Skidelsky, R.Skidelsky, E. (2012): How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life. London: Allen Lane.

  • Speth, J. (1990): Needed: An Environmental Revolution in Technology. Background Paper Prepared for a Symposium: Toward 2000: Environment, Technology and the New Century. World Resources Institute, June 13–15.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stavins, R. (2016): Misleading Talk about Decoupling CO2 Emissions and Economic Growth [Online]. http://www.robertstavinsblog.org/misleading-talk-about-decoupling-co2emissionsand- eonomic-growth.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stewart, F. (2002): Horizontal Inequality: A Neglected Dimension of Development. Helsinki: WIDER Annual Development Lecture 2001.

  • Stewart, F. (ed.) (2008): Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies. London: Palgrave.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stiglitz, J. E. (2012): Macro-Economic Fluctuations, Inequality and Human Development. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 13(1): 3158.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Torras, M.Boyce, J. K. (1998): Income, Inequality and Pollution: A Reassment of the Environmental Kuznets Curve. Ecological Economics, 25(2): 147160.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Varughese, G.Ostrom, E. (2001): The Contested Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: Some Evidence from Community Forestry in Nepal. World Development, 29(5): 747756.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Word Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): Living Planet Report 2014. http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/living-planet-report-2014. [Accessed September 11, 2016.]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation