Human Development and Sustainability

40 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2010 Last revised: 24 Apr 2013

See all articles by Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

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Date Written: November 19, 2010


This article reviews existing linkages between the two broad concepts of human development and sustainability and discusses ways in which the often separate literatures can learn from each other. It proposes a practical way in which the measurements of human development and sustainability can be linked with each other. Empirical results for both a weak and strong sustainability indicator are presented for the time period 1980 to 2006. The most important policy conclusion derived from these results is that countries of high to very high human development face the double task of achieving strong sustainability by severing the link between high human development and strongly unsustainable carbon emissions and helping other countries, particularly those with low levels of human development, to achieve weak sustainability in the first place and strong sustainability eventually.

Suggested Citation

Neumayer, Eric, Human Development and Sustainability (November 19, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)


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