Discussion Paper

No. 2017-82 | October 06, 2017
Beyond wishful thinking: Explorative Qualitative Modeling (EQM) as a tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Abstract

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in their generalized form need to be further reflected in order to identify synergies and trade-offs between their (sub-)targets, and to apply them to concrete nations and regions. Explorative, qualitative cause and effect modeling could serve as a tool for adding crucial factors and enabling a better understanding of the interrelations between the goals, eventually leading to more informed concrete measures better able to cope with their inherent obstacles. This work provides and describes a model that could serve as a template for concrete application. The generalized model already points to some potential ambivalences as well as synergies that can be reflected on using some of the latest theories and concepts from economics and transition research, among other fields. Its first analyses cautiously raise doubts that some possible assumptions behind the original Sustainable Development Goals might overlook some systemic boundaries. For example, an undifferentiated increase of productivity contradicts a lessened environmental impact and need for resources in light of potential planetary boundaries.

JEL Classification:

A19, C19, B49, C38, C69, O10, O19

Assessment

  • Downloads: 100

Links

Cite As

Kai Neumann, Carl Anderson, and Manfred Denich (2017). Beyond wishful thinking: Explorative Qualitative Modeling (EQM) as a tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Economics Discussion Papers, No 2017-82, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2017-82


Comments and Questions


Anonymous - Referee report 1
October 06, 2017 - 12:42

The paper contributes to the debate on SDGs, yet
• style of language and illustrations needs to be improved to be in line with scientific journal standards,
• the application (including the participatory method) should be at the center of the paper rather than the description of model features potentially available to ...[more]

... the user, and
• the pros & cons of the modelling approach in the context of SDG tradeoffs/synergies need to be discussed somewhere, currently the conclusion section sounds somewhat to enthusiastically optimistic