Participants in sustainability science, as an emerging discipline, have not yet developed fully a coherent ontology, epistemology, ideology, or methodology. There is clearer agreement on the ideology of sustainability science, agreement that can be used to consider the compatibility of that ideology with methodologies brought to bear in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams. Benefit–cost analysis, one such methodology from the neoclassical economics tradition, is often used in the context of sustainability science. As currently formulated and practiced, benefit–cost analysis is incompatible with the ideology of sustainability science and should not be used to evaluate proposed solutions to sustainability problems. Other methods from economics are more appropriate for use in sustainability science.
Anderson, M., Teisl, M., Noblet, C., & Klein, S. 2014. The Incompatibility of Benefit-cost Analysis with Sustainability Science. Sustainability Science, September, 1-9. doi:10.1007/s11625-014-0266-4.
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