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Economics for People and the Planet

Economics for People and the Planet

Inequality in the Era of Climate Change

By James Boyce

‘Economics for People and the Planet’ challenges the myth that economic growth must come at the expense of the natural environment and advances our understanding of how a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and power can help to safeguard the environment and address climate change.

Hardback, 172 Pages


January 2019

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

'Economics for People and the Planet' brings together recent essays by James K. Boyce on the environment, inequality, and the economy.

Part One, Rethinking Economics and the Environment, challenges some common assumptions, including the beliefs that economic growth is incompatible with environmental sustainability, capitalist firms single-mindedly pursue profits, and human beings are inherently bad for nature.

Part Two, Environmental Injustice, opens with the author’s 2017 Leontief Prize lecture, and discusses how inequalities in the distribution of wealth and power shape both the distribution of environmental harm and the magnitude of environmental degradation.

Part Three, The Political Economy of Climate Policy, addresses the pre-eminent environmental challenge of our time, highlighting how progressive climate policies not only can benefit future generations worldwide but also can improve health and economic well-being today in the countries adopting them.


‘In accessible and pithy, bite-size essays, Boyce shows how the inequality in wealth and power is both a cause and consequence of environmental degradation and social injustice. A great read for experts and a new generation alike.’
—Kevin P. Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy, and Director, Global Development Policy Center, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, USA

‘In this elegantly written, carefully crafted, deeply personal and every bit policy-relevant volume, James Boyce adds essential new chapters on climate change, sustainable growth, universal income and, yes, the last passenger pigeon. Indispensable and delightful read for anyone interested in economics for the twenty-first century.’
—Éloi Laurent, Economist, Sciences Po, France, and Stanford University, USA

‘Starting from first principles Boyce offers a range of essays that inform, challenge and inspire. Highly readable, thoroughly engaging and always policy relevant, this is a delightful and compelling addition to the literature on climate change, environmental justice and global sustainability.’
—Manuel Pastor, Professor, Sociology / American Studies & Ethnicity, Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change, University of Southern California, USA

Author Information

James K. Boyce is a senior fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute and professor emeritus of economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA. His previous books include Economics, the Environment, and Our Common Wealth (2013), Reclaiming Nature (2007), Natural Assets (2003) and The Political Economy of the Environment (2002).


Anthem Frontiers of Global Political Economy

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Part I. Rethinking Economics and the Environment; Chapter 1. Limits to Growth – of What?; Chapter 2. The Twin Tragedies of Open Access; Chapter 3. Pursuing Profits – or Power?; Chapter 4. Rent in a Warming World; Chapter 5. Universal Assets for Universal Income; Chapter 6. Universal Basic Income: Six Questions; Chapter 7. Environmentalism’s Original Sin; Chapter 8. Rethinking Extinction; Part II. Environmental Injustice; Chapter 9. Inequality and the Environment; Chapter 10. Clean Air for All; Chapter 11. Letter from Flint; Chapter 12. Let Them Drink Pollution?; Chapter 13. Letter from Delhi; Chapter 14. Mapping the Environmental Riskscape; Chapter 15. Measuring Pollution Inequality; Chapter 16. Cleaning the Air and Cooling the Planet; Part III. Climate Policy; Chapter 17. Smart Climate Policy; Chapter 18. Investment in Disadvantaged Communities; Chapter 19. Dividends for All; Chapter 20. Truth Spill; Chapter 21. Four Pillars of Climate Justice; Chapter 22. The Perverse Logic of Offsets; Chapter 23. Climate Policy as Wealth Creation; Chapter 24. The Carbon Dividend; Chapter 25. Keeping the Government Whole; Chapter 26. Air Quality Co-benefits in Climate Policy; Chapter 27. Climate Adaptation: Protecting Money or People?; Chapter 28. Forging a Sustainable Climate Policy; Notes; Publication History; Index.

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