Trio of authors publishes “Common Good Economics” in special issue of the renowned scientific journal “Sustainability”

For ten years, “Economy for the Common Good” (ECG) has been implementing an economic model that can better serve people, the planet and future generations. “Common Good Economics” now provides the theoretical foundation for that model, published by a trio of authors in the distinguished scientific journal “Sustainability” in the special issue Sustainable Economy for the Common Good, guest edited by Vanessa Campos from the University of Valencia.

In their article, From Neoclassical Economics to Common Good Economics, Johannes Dolderer, student of macroeconomics from Heidelberg, professor Petra Teitscheid from the University of Applied Sciences Münster and the initiator of the ECG movement and IASS Affiliate Scholar Christian Felber outline a systematic transition from the much criticized paradigm of neoclassical economics – which is still predominant in mainstream economics and considered by many as a contributing factor to the current crises – to a common good economics, laying the foundation for a scientific theory of the ECG model.

Planetary boundaries and a clear definition of economic goals

This paper, one of eight in the Special Issue, provides a systematic comparison in four sections between neoclassical economics and the developed common good economics – from which the practical model of ECG is derived. Section 1, Philosophy of Science, contrasts the self-understanding of neoclassical economics as a quasi-natural science to the social science approach of ECG. In Section 2, Definition and Goal of Economy and Economics, the meaningless neoclassical definition of “the science of the efficient management of scarce resources” is replaced by a clearer definition with explicit references to the long-term satisfaction of human needs within a stable environment. Section 3 discusses Basic Elements of the Economy such as needs, conception of man, resources and goods, deconstructing the neoclassical concept of “needs” and replacing it with a more realistic one. Moreover, markets are seen as only one of several “stages” of economic activity, whereas in neoclassical economics they have a dominant role. Section 4 analyzes, on the basis of these foundations, the conditions of a functioning market economy and shows how these conditions are only ensured by a democratic common good design of markets. This ties in with neoclassical concepts of market failures, but closes a methodological gap in neoclassical economics by deriving categories such as gender, ethnicity, power, democracy and ecology from a democratically defined common good – an approach not open to neoclassical economics, which as a quasi-natural scientific discipline is limited to the understanding and explaining of markets and their supposed “market laws”.

Science and research at the Economy for the Common Good

One of the 15 themed hubs of the ECG movement is devoted to science and research. Its activities include teaching, research, application, discourse and public dissemination. In the autumn of 2019, the first scientific conference of ECG took place at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen. The conference reader was published recently. The first special issue of a scientific journal on ECG was issued in March 2019 in the Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik. The newly published special issue of the open access online journal Sustainability follows up on this impact and marks an international milestone in the scientific foundation of the practical ECG model.