The end of economic growth? A contracting threshold hypothesis
This paper argues that GDP growth in both developed and developing countries has associated costs that can outweigh the benefits and thus reduce sustainable well-being. This conclusion is based upon the findings of empirical applications of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) to a range of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The studies conducted on seven Asia-Pacific countries indicate that, in the case of five of the seven nations, more recent GDP growth has reduced the sustainable well-being experienced by the average citizen residing within them. Moreover, the threshold point at which the costs of GDP growth outweigh the benefits appears to be contracting (i.e., occurring at a much lower per capita level of GDP). This paper therefore introduces a new contracting threshold hypothesis: as the economies of the Asia-Pacific region and the world collectively expand in a globalised economic environment, there is a contraction over time in the threshold level of per capita GDP. As a consequence, the threshold point confronting growth late-comers (i.e., developing countries) occurs at a much lower level of sustainable welfare than what wealthy nations currently enjoy. The consequences of this for developing countries are clearly significant and require a new approach to economic development.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mark McGillivray & Simon Feeny & Niels Hermes & Robert Lensink, 2006. "Controversies over the impact of development aid: it works; it doesn't; it can, but that depends …," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 1031-1050.
- Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 1999. "Principles of Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776147, June.
- Siang Ng & Yew-Kwang Ng, 2001. "Welfare-reducing growth despite individual and government optimization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(3), pages 497-506.
- Stockhammer, Engelbert & Hochreiter, Harald & Obermayr, Bernhard & Steiner, Klaus, 1997. "The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) as an alternative to GDP in measuring economic welfare. The results of the Austrian (revised) ISEW calculation 1955-1992," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-34, April.
- Brian Garrod, 1998. "Are economic globalisation and sustainable development compatible? Business strategy and the role of the multinational enterprise," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(1), pages 43-62.
- Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
- Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
- Akbostanci, Elif & Tun , G. Ipek & T R T-Asik, Serap, 2007. "Pollution haven hypothesis and the role of dirty industries in Turkey's exports," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 297-322, April.
- Max-Neef, Manfred, 1995. "Economic growth and quality of life: a threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-118, November.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973.
"Is Growth Obsolete?,"
in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cole, Matthew A., 2004. "US environmental load displacement: examining consumption, regulations and the role of NAFTA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 439-450, April.
- Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996.
"What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1694, The World Bank.
- Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
- Brett Inder, 2004. "Economic growth and contraction and their impact on the poor," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 3/04, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
- Bleys, Brent, 2008. "Proposed changes to the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare: An application to Belgium," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 741-751, February.
- MacDermott Raymond, 2006. "Trade Agreements and the Environment: An Industry Level Study for NAFTA," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-24, September.
- Dean, Judith M., 1992. "Trade and the environment : a survey of the literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 966, The World Bank.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001.
"Growth is good for the poor,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2587, The World Bank.
- Neumayer, Eric, 2000. "On the methodology of ISEW, GPI and related measures: some constructive suggestions and some doubt on the 'threshold' hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 347-361, September.
- Lawn, Philip A. & Sanders, Richard D., 1999. "Has Australia surpassed its optimal macroeconomic scale? Finding out with the aid of 'benefit' and 'cost' accounts and a sustainable net benefit index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 213-229, February.
- Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2002. "Dirty exports and environmental regulation : do standards matter to trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2806, The World Bank.
- Nourry, Myriam, 2008. "Measuring sustainable development: Some empirical evidence for France from eight alternative indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 441-456, October.
- Costanza, Robert & Perrings, Charles, 1990. "A flexible assurance bonding system for improved environmental management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 57-75, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:11:p:2213-2223. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.