Rethinking the Economic Value Concept to Formulate Other Development Models

By Jacques Perrin

Environmental disasters and increasing social disparities caused by the development model of industrialized countries is forcing us to consider other forms or models of development. This means rethinking the reference system which has contributed to the current development model. The latter, which is embedded in neo-classical thinking, is based on the idea that the value of goods and services is equal to their price, i.e. to their exchange value, and that the wealth of a country or territory is equal to the monetary value of what it produces or it is able to buy. In order to stop thinking that the more we get, the richer we are, it is important to place economic value at the center of economic research. A distinction between value and exchange value will help in understanding the differences between development and growth of a given country or territory. This article suggests several research options on what economic value should be about in order to address the social and environmental challenges of the beginning of this millennium. JEL codes: O40, D46, O40, E13, Q01, I30


  • economic development
  • value theory
  • measure of economic growth
  • neoclassical model
  • sustainable development
  • welfare and poverty
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