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Development For The Past, Present, And Future: Defining And Measuring Sustainable Development, Max Cantor May 2011

Development For The Past, Present, And Future: Defining And Measuring Sustainable Development, Max Cantor

Senior Honors Projects

In 1987, the United Nations released the Brundtland Report, which defined sustainable development as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” While this definition provides a relatively stable theoretical base from which development economists and political scientists can begin to tackle issues surrounding sustainable development, the inherently amorphous nature of this definition has also created a fair amount of ambiguity in both the economic literature surrounding sustainable development and the subsequent attempts by economists to measure it.

Historically, those interested in the science of development have typically ...