Inderscience Publishers

Buddhist economics ancient teachings revisited

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The views and values of Buddhist economics play a growing role in the present discourse on 'green' economics. These ancient teachings represent an alternative paradigm and holistic concept of economic action opposed to the reductionist mainstream economics. In this paper, the main content and assumptions of Buddhist economics as laid down in the canonical scriptures are introduced and contrasted with those of western economics. The Buddhist concept of happiness, and of economic action in general, the recommendations on right livelihood as well as the corresponding notions about the source of wealth, its proper use and distribution are reviewed and discussed. It is shown that these ancient teachings share many common facets with the ecological movement and its approach to economics. Particular attention is given to review the actual impact of Buddhist economic ethics on the social and economic history of Asian Buddhist countries.

Keywords: Buddhist economics, moral economy, ecological economics, deep ecology, green economics, economic ethics, social history, economic history

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