Buddhist Economics

EENI - Business School.

Sub-subject: Principles of Buddhist Economics - Shinichi Inoue. Syllabus:

  1. Introduction to Buddhist economics
  2. E. F. Schumacher, “Small is beautiful.”
  3. Shinichi Inoue: “Buddhist Economics: the emerging way between capitalism and socialism.”
  4. Gross National Happiness Index.
  5. Manifesto for a Buddhist Economics.
Sub-subject “Principles of Buddhist Economics” is studied…
  1. Doctorates (DIB): DIB Ethics, Religion, and Business, DIB Asia
  2. Masters: International Business (MIB), Asia
  3. Courses South-east Asia, China

Learning materials in En or Es Economía Budista

Sample of the Sub-subject: Buddhist Economics
Buddhist Economics

Sub-Subject Description: Principles of Buddhist Economics.

The life of Buddha is the fundamental of the principles of Buddhist Economics. Siddhartha, the Buddha, rejected the material comforts of real life (he renounced to his reign); he noticed the futility of asceticism after experiencing the denial of the natural physical needs.

Buddhism was able to transform the societies and economies in China, Singapore, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan through the introduction of ethical concepts in the pursuit of profit.

The Japanese expert in Buddhist economics, Shinichi Inoue published in 1997 the book “Putting Buddhism to work: A new approach to management and business” published by Kodansha International Ltd. (Tokyo). Inoue subtitles the book “Buddhist Economics: the emerging path between capitalism and socialism.”

“The Buddha drew a fine line between materialism and the denial of the World, and this middle path or moderate perspective is essential to the understanding of Buddhist economics” Shinichi Inoue.

Buddhist Economics

Based on the Buddha's concept that spiritual liberation is achieved by avoiding the extremes, either by indulgence in worldly pleasures or severe asceticism and crossing “the Middle Way,” Inoue recommended the “Buddhist Economics” as the ideal middle way between competing models of capitalism and socialism.

For the author, none of these systems has contained the relentless destruction of the environment and the human community.

His Buddhist economy model is based on taking the best aspects of both economic systems. He seeks to reconcile competition and the free market while respecting the environment and humanity, to achieve a more just world.

Inoue identifies three fundamentals principles underlying the model of Buddhist economics. An economy…

  1. … That benefits oneself but also to others
  2. … Based on the principles of tolerance and peace
  3. … That can save the Earth.

The German economist E. F. Schumacher (1911-1977) wrote this influential book in 1973. Schumacher was an adviser to the United Nations (UN), and on a trip to Burma developed the concept in his essay “Buddhist Economics,” which was later included in his book “Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered.”

The essay shows how people should seek the goodness not only for personal development but also for their community. This principle is common to all Asian religions.

As an alternative to GDP, and based on the studies of Schumacher, in 1972 the King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, created the Gross National Happiness Index to measure the Bhutanese economy, which according to the King, was based on Buddhist principles.

The true development of humanity is in the complementarity and mutual reinforcement of material and spiritual development” Jigme Singye Wangchuk

Gross National Happiness

Religions, ethics, and business



EENI Business School