100 books like Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development, Selected Essays of Herman Daly

By Herman E. Daly,

Here are 100 books that Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development, Selected Essays of Herman Daly fans have personally recommended if you like Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development, Selected Essays of Herman Daly. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of An Introduction to Ecological Economics

Jonathan M. Harris Author Of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach

From my list on understanding ecological economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been teaching and writing about economics and the environment for over thirty-five years, and have been inspired by my students to work towards a new ecological economics that can underpin a sustainable planetary future. Many of the crises that I and colleagues have predicted – climate disasters, soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss – are now upon us, but the situation is not hopeless. I am working for a rapid transformation away from fossil-fuel and resource-intensive forms of economic growth, and hope that the expanding field of ecological economics can help to usher in this badly needed change. 

Jonathan's book list on understanding ecological economics

Jonathan M. Harris Why did Jonathan love this book?

This book provides an essential introduction to the expanding field of ecological economics.

Authored by some of the leading figures in the field, it covers the basic evidence of global limits to economic activity such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. The historical basis for ecological economic theory is explained in non-technical terms.

The book covers issues of sustainable scale, natural capital, and ecosystem services – simple concepts that nonetheless revolutionize economic thinking. It concludes with an analysis of policies needed to achieve sustainability. 

By Robert Costanza, John H Cumberland, Herman Daly , Robert Goodland , Richard B Norgaard , Ida Kubiszewski , Carol Franco

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Introduction to Ecological Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Empty-World Economics to Full-World Economics

Ecological economics explores new ways of thinking about how we manage our lives and our planet to achieve a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future. Ecological economics extends and integrates the study and management of both "nature's household" and "humankind's household"-An Introduction to Ecological Economics, Second Edition, the first update and expansion of this classic text in 15 years, describes new approaches to achieving a sustainable and desirable human presence on Earth. Written by the top experts in the field, it addresses the necessity for an innovative approach to integrated environmental, social, and economic analysis…


Book cover of Beyond Uneconomic Growth: Economics, Equity and the Ecological Predicament

Jonathan M. Harris Author Of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach

From my list on understanding ecological economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been teaching and writing about economics and the environment for over thirty-five years, and have been inspired by my students to work towards a new ecological economics that can underpin a sustainable planetary future. Many of the crises that I and colleagues have predicted – climate disasters, soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss – are now upon us, but the situation is not hopeless. I am working for a rapid transformation away from fossil-fuel and resource-intensive forms of economic growth, and hope that the expanding field of ecological economics can help to usher in this badly needed change. 

Jonathan's book list on understanding ecological economics

Jonathan M. Harris Why did Jonathan love this book?

This is a great selection of more recent work in ecological economics. It focuses on seeking alternatives to standard economists’ fixation on unlimited economic growth.

Drawing on physical science, ecology, and the science of human behavior, contributors show how economic growth itself has become “uneconomic” and incompatible with a healthy ecosystem. An alternative vision – a human economic system in balance with the environment, while providing for essential needs and a high quality of life – is presented in contributions by scholars from diverse fields. 

By Joshua Farley (editor), Deepak Malghan (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Uneconomic Growth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Daly's contributions to the still emergent field of ecological economics are constant references for our peers throughout the developing world as well as in the North. His courageous tilting at the windmills of mainstream economic nonsense inspire us to continue questioning: in whose interests do we continue on a perpetual search for unlimited material satisfaction? Daly's conception is not only of a world restricted by biophysical limits, but also one in which poverty and deprivation are commonplace, and where Sisyphean efforts to maintain accelerated economic growth only exacerbate inequitable distribution. His vision of sustainable economic welfare shed light on other…


Book cover of Escape from Overshoot: Economics for a Planet in Peril

Jonathan M. Harris Author Of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach

From my list on understanding ecological economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been teaching and writing about economics and the environment for over thirty-five years, and have been inspired by my students to work towards a new ecological economics that can underpin a sustainable planetary future. Many of the crises that I and colleagues have predicted – climate disasters, soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss – are now upon us, but the situation is not hopeless. I am working for a rapid transformation away from fossil-fuel and resource-intensive forms of economic growth, and hope that the expanding field of ecological economics can help to usher in this badly needed change. 

Jonathan's book list on understanding ecological economics

Jonathan M. Harris Why did Jonathan love this book?

Peter Victor, a leading Canadian economist, has worked to reform economic thinking and modeling to take account of twenty-first-century realities: the increasing stress placed on the world’s ecosystems by growing population, energy demand, pressure on agricultural and water systems, and multiple forms of pollution.

Victor surveys alternatives such as green growth, post-growth, degrowth, and regenerative economics, offering hope for a positive social, economic, and ecological future. 

By Peter A. Victor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Escape from Overshoot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Earth overshoot will end either by design or by disaster. Which future should we choose?

Earth is in overshoot. The cumulative impact of 8 billion humans combined with the relentless pursuit of economic growth in the name of "progress" has stressed the planet beyond its limits. We must act now.

Surveying economic alternatives and charting plausible paths forward for a planned economic contraction, Escape from Overshoot covers a wide terrain, including:

An overview of Earth overshoot and prevailing trends and implications for humans and biodiversity A concise review of economic ideas including neoclassical, Keynesian, Marxist, ecological economics, and steady state…


Book cover of Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics

Jonathan M. Harris Author Of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach

From my list on understanding ecological economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been teaching and writing about economics and the environment for over thirty-five years, and have been inspired by my students to work towards a new ecological economics that can underpin a sustainable planetary future. Many of the crises that I and colleagues have predicted – climate disasters, soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss – are now upon us, but the situation is not hopeless. I am working for a rapid transformation away from fossil-fuel and resource-intensive forms of economic growth, and hope that the expanding field of ecological economics can help to usher in this badly needed change. 

Jonathan's book list on understanding ecological economics

Jonathan M. Harris Why did Jonathan love this book?

Robby Richardson is an old friend and colleague who has led the way in developing practical ecological economics policies.

He has been on the front lines: fired by the Trump administration from a position at EPA for defending effective environmental protection, he returned to government in the Department of the Interior in the Biden administration, and in that role has developed natural resource accounting systems to guide government policy.

In this edited volume, he brings together leading ecological economics scholars to offer a variety of perspectives on building a green economy that places human welfare above consumerism and resource-intensive growth. 

By Robert B. Richardson (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building a Green Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first decade of the twenty-first century has been characterised by a growing global awareness of the tremendous strains that human economic activity place on natural resources and the environment. As the world's population increases, so does the demand for energy, food, and other resources, which adds to existing stresses on ecosystems, with potentially disastrous consequences. Humanity is at a crossroads in our pathway to future prosperity, and our next steps will impact our long-term sustainability immensely.

In this timely volume, leading ecological economics scholars offer a variety of perspectives on building a green economy. Grounded in a critique of…


Book cover of Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Sam Pizzigati Author Of The Case for a Maximum Wage

From my list on why we need a world without billionaires.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the 1950s next door to Long Island’s iconic Levittown. All my aunts and uncles lived in similar modest suburbs, and I assumed everyone else did, too. Maybe that explains why America’s sharp economic U-turn in the 1970s so rubbed me the wrong way. We had become, in the mid-20th century, the first major nation where most people—after paying their monthly bills—had money left over. Today we rate as the world’s most unequal major nation. Our richest 0.1 percent hold as much wealth as our bottom 90 percent. I’ve been working with the Institute for Public Studies, as co-editor of Inequality.org, to change all that.

Sam's book list on why we need a world without billionaires

Sam Pizzigati Why did Sam love this book?

The climate crisis, many of us now understand, may just end up crushing us. What can save us from that crushing?

Greater income equality, the former World Bank economist Herman Daly argued in this concise 1996 volume, has to be central to our solution. Daly, who passed away in 2022, pioneered the discipline of ecological economics.

Our planet, this University of Maryland professor emeritus believed, has “a limit to the total material production that the ecosystem can support.” In other words, we can’t afford to continue grasping for ever more.

We need to center ourselves instead around having enough, and that means, Daly concluded, moving toward adopting a “maximum personal income” since having 99 percent of a limited total product “go to only one person” would be “clearly unjust.”

By Herman E. Daly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Growth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics." 
--Utne Reader

"Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on 'sustainable development' is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless."
--Mother Jones

"In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of…


Book cover of Stable Peace

Jurgen Brauer Author Of War and Nature: The Environmental Consequences of War in a Globalized World

From my list on unusual stories about conflict, war, and peace.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born of refugee parents, I grew up stateless in occupied, cold war-era Berlin, Germany. It is perhaps not surprising that the how and why of war, and the economic deprivation and poverty it produces, came to be my professional interest. I earned a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame (USA) and became a professor of economics with specialties in development economics and the economics of conflict, war, and peace. I like “grazing” along disciplinary boundaries and have written on economic aspects of military history, the economics of the firearms market, the impact of war on nature, and the economics of genocides and other mass atrocities.

Jurgen's book list on unusual stories about conflict, war, and peace

Jurgen Brauer Why did Jurgen love this book?

In his heyday, Kenneth Boulding was among America’s leading intellectuals across the natural and social sciences. A cofounder of the fields of ecological economics and of peace economics, he also wrote poetry.

Well-known books of his include The Image and Conflict and Defense, but I like the little Stable Peace the best. Just 143 pages long, it takes peace seriously, not as a utopian ideal but as a practical policy option. Boulding asks: as a scientific matter, what might it take to reach stable peace?

If nothing else, you will enjoy both the power of his concepts and of his writing. If phrases like “policy is social agriculture” don’t stop and engage you, what will?

By Kenneth Ewart Boulding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stable Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The human race has often put a high value on struggle, strife, turmoil, and excitement. Peace has been regarded as a utopian, unattainable, perhaps dull ideal or as some random element over which we have no control. However, the desperate necessities of the nuclear age have forced us to take peace seriously as an object of both personal and national policy. Stable Peace attempts to answer the question, If we had a policy for peace, what would it look like?

A policy for peace aims to speed up the historically slow, painful, but persistent transition from a state of continual…


Book cover of Small Is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered

Ray Cunningham Author Of The Post-Growth Project: How the End of Economic Growth Could Bring a Fairer and Happier Society

From my list on our fatal addiction to economic growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my career, I managed research into how the problems of modern industrial society are tackled in different countries. This reflected my own comparative instinct, which arose out of growing up bilingual and at home in two cultures. My journey into politics, sociology, and economics made me increasingly aware of the blindness of our social arrangements to the growing ecological crisis – and of how this blindness is perpetuated by the narrow silos of our political and academic systems. Our only hope now lies with thinkers who can escape those silos and integrate different perspectives into a holistic understanding. We don’t need more specialists, but generalists. Fewer economists, more moral philosophers. 

Ray's book list on our fatal addiction to economic growth

Ray Cunningham Why did Ray love this book?

The book that gave birth to the slogan... This is an iconoclastic look at the capitalist economy from a man who trained as an academic economist and worked for the National Coal Board. Schumacher thought creatively and wrote and spoke in a lively and engaging way and the book is an accessible introduction to a different way of thinking about what the purpose of an economy, or economics, is.

Also, Schumacher was invited to become the first Director of the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society, but felt that he was already too old for the job. Many years later, I became the Foundation’s last Director.

By E.F. Schumacher,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Small Is Beautiful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestselling “Eco Bible” (Time magazine) teaches us that economic growth must be responsibly balanced with the needs of communities and the environment.

“Embracing what Schumacher stood for--above all the idea of sensible scale--is the task for our time. Small is Beautiful could not be more relevant. It was first published in 1973, but it was written for our time.” — Bill McKibben, from the Foreword

Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as “Buy Locally” and “Fair Trade,” while voicing strong opposition…


Book cover of Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet

Mark A. Maslin Author Of How To Save Our Planet: The Facts

From my list on helping you save our beautiful precious planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

The world around us is an amazing and beautiful place and for me science adds another layer of appreciation. I am a Professor of Earth System Science at University College London - which means I am lucky enough to research climate change in the past, the present, and the future. I study everything from early human evolution in Africa to the future impacts of anthropogenic climate change.  I have published over 190 papers in top science journals. I have written 10 books, over 100 popular articles and I regularly appear on radio and television. My blogs on the 'Conversation' have been read over 5.5 million times and you might want to check them out!

Mark's book list on helping you save our beautiful precious planet

Mark A. Maslin Why did Mark love this book?

Let us be realistic, we all know that our economic system is broken. We cannot go on making stuff and throwing it away on a finite planet.

There are now 8 billion people on Earth all wanting to have a good life. So what is the alternative to economic growth? Well, Tim wonderfully shows us how the economy of tomorrow could protect employment, facilitate social investment, reduce inequality, and deliver both ecological and financial stability.

When this book was first published it was seen as a radical and dangerous text. Now with the rise of environmental and ecological economics it is the fundamental book that kicked off the revolution in the way we see the future.

By Tim Jackson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Prosperity without Growth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is more economic growth the solution? Will it deliver prosperity and well-being for a global population projected to reach nine billion? In this explosive book, Tim Jackson - a top sustainability adviser to the UK government - makes a compelling case against continued economic growth in developed nations.

No one denies that development is essential for poorer nations. But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising…


Book cover of How the West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of the Industrial World

Richard G. Lipsey Author Of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

From my list on how technologies have transformed our societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In spite of many setbacks, living standards have trended upwards over the last 10,000 years. One of my main interests as an economist has been to understand the sources of this trend and its broad effects. The key driving force is new technologies. We are better off than our Victorian ancestors, not because we have more of what they had but because we have new things, such as airplanes and indoor plumbing. However, these new technologies have also brought some unfortunate side effects. We need to understand that dealing with these successfully depends, not on returning to the use of previous technologies, but on developing newer technologies such as wind and solar power.

Richard's book list on how technologies have transformed our societies

Richard G. Lipsey Why did Richard love this book?

This highly readable, best-selling book explains how the West’s free-market economies grew rich while others stagnated. (1) The West provided the freedom to innovate in products processes and organizations while other societies resisted these activities. (2) The West’s diffusion of economic power from a centralised political sphere to a decentralized economic sphere was essential in establishing and maintaining this freedom. (3) The West’s market-based institutions allowed successful innovators to earn large gains while unsuccessful innovators and non-innovating firms suffered losses. (4) The growth of Western science nurtured economic growth produced by innovators who were typically well-versed in engineering and Newtonian mechanistic science.

By Nathan Rosenberg, L.E. Birdzell, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How the West Grew Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did the West,Europe, Canada, and the United States,escape from immemorial poverty into sustained economic growth and material well-being when other societies remained trapped in an endless cycle of birth, hunger, hardship, and death? In this elegant synthesis of economic history, two scholars argue that it is the political pluralism and the flexibility of the West's institutions,not corporate organization and mass production technology,that explain its unparalleled wealth.


Book cover of Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

Kathleen E. Akers Author Of Law and Economics in Jane Austen

From my list on love, law, and money.

Why am I passionate about this?

The fundamental connection between law and economics rules most of the world. This is especially true in romantic relationships, whether the parties realize it or not. Being “Janites” ourselves, in addition to our day jobs of family law professor and economic consultant, we could not help but read Jane Austen and be blown away by her genius understanding of both law and economics. Moreover, the principles she draws out that govern much of her characters’ decision-making are just as applicable today in the world of online dating and Tinder. We hope our book enlightens you on law and economics in new, surprising, and romantic ways.

Kathleen's book list on love, law, and money

Kathleen E. Akers Why did Kathleen love this book?

The world is driven by incentives. Much of economics is not obscure theory but practically understanding how incentives affect decision-making.

Charles Wheelan’s Naked Economics provides a solid foundation for understanding how our lives revolve around economics and why understanding economic principles is critically important for evaluating the social and geopolitical world around us. 

This book was important in our analysis of Jane Austen’s work, as her use of economic principles in romance is what causes her work to be loved for centuries.

By Charles Wheelan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Naked Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a new edition of the best-selling economics book that won't put you to sleep. In our challenging economic climate, this perennial favourite of students and general readers includes commentary on hot topics such as automation, trade and income inequality. Ten years after the financial crisis, Naked Economics examines how policymakers managed the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.


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