Article Summary “Sustainability-an Economist`s Perspective”


ArticleSummary: “Sustainability-anEconomist’s Perspective”


ArticleSummary: “Sustainability-anEconomist’s Perspective”

Theissue of sustainability has become one of the widely discussed topicsin the modern times especially when it comes to issues affecting theenvironment. These may include issues such as global warming,resources degradation, food production, and how the future peoplewill survive among other concerns. This essay is a summary of anarticle on the issue of suitability as authored by Robert Solow“Sustainability-an Economist’s Perspective.”

Authoredin 1991 by Robert Solow, the article “Sustainability-an Economist’s Perspective”focuses on the issue of sustainability. Written from an economistpoint of view, the article presents the main tenets of sustainabilityand also the contradictions that come with it. According to theauthor (Robert), he defines sustainability as ‘thesocietal outcomes that allow the future generations to be and livewell as people of today’.In addition, he points out that, the aspect of sustainability doesn’trequire the saving of specific resources for the future inhabitants.However, he points out that sustainability is the act of ensuringthat, there is enough capital for the future generation. This capitalmay be in the form of natural resources, human capital and physicalcapital, and hence this will in turn provide future populace withgood living standards like there is today (Robert, 1991). Accordingto the author, what the future holds for the people is not known, andhence the strategies for sustainability should address modernproblems as well. Robert also highlights the issue of populationgrowth and especially in poor nations as a major threat to globalsustainability to the world’s economy.

Withthe growing concern about the future inhabitants and the resources tobe used in years to come, the author has pointed out that, it shouldbe the focus of modern society leaving behind sufficient capital thatwould be enough for the future generations. This, in turn, highlightsthe main focus should be on how much is consumed today and how muchis invested for future as the major drivers of suitability. Despitethe need for people to be worried of the future in terms ofresources, there is also the responsibility today as many people aresuffering in poverty. Should the money be invested to the poor andmake their life better or used to ensure future generation has asustainable future (Robert, 1991). The tension will continue to growas more people continue to suffer due to lack of resources as well asthe increase in the need to help and save for the future populationfrom sustainability related dangers.

Inconclusion, despite the need for the current global population toinvest in saving the capital for the future, it also remains anessential aspect for today’s generation to be more concerned onsustainability and how people have a better live. Capital investmentfor the future remains the key to sustainability. The article remainsand important one, not only to the economists, but also to people whoare concerned with the environment and developments meant for abetter tomorrow (sustainability).


Robert.Solow. (1991). Sustainability: An Economist’s Perspective.Retrieved June 24, 2016, from