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The basic needs approach: Overcoming the poverty ofhomo oeconomicus

Authors
Journal
World Development
0305-750X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
14
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0305-750x(86)90041-0
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract A major issue in the controversy surrounding the Basic Needs Approach to economic development concerns the difficulty of identifying a universal set of basic needs which is capable of cross-cultural application. It is argued that the apparent conceptual infeasibility of the Basic Needs Approach stems from prominent deficiencies in our current stock of economic, political and ethical paradigms, particularly with respect to the image of humans embodied in the notion of Homo oeconomicus. Recent advances in sociobiology and neurobiology provide an adequate foundation for a concept of universal basic human needs, and a proposed typology of basic needs is suggested.

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