Environment versus growth -- A criticism of "degrowth" and a plea for "a-growth"
In recent debates on environmental problems and policies, the strategy of "degrowth" has appeared as an alternative to the paradigm of economic growth. This new notion is critically evaluated by considering five common interpretations of it. One conclusion is that these multiple interpretations make it an ambiguous and rather confusing concept. Another is that degrowth may not be an effective, let alone an efficient strategy to reduce environmental pressure. It is subsequently argued that "a-growth," i.e. being indifferent about growth, is a more logical social aim to substitute for the current goal of economic growth, given that GDP (per capita) is a very imperfect indicator of social welfare. In addition, focusing ex ante on public policy is considered to be a strategy which ultimately is more likely to obtain the necessary democratic-political support than an ex ante, explicit degrowth strategy. In line with this, a policy package is proposed which consists of six elements, some of which relate to concerns raised by degrowth supporters.
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.:
- Frederick Van der Ploeg & Cees A. Withagen, 2010.
"Is There Really a Green Paradox?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2963, CESifo Group Munich.
- Rick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is There Really a Green Paradox?," OxCarre Working Papers 035, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
- Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is there really a Green Paradox?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-020/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Aug 2012.
- Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Energy Conservation More Effective With Rebound Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(1), pages 43-58, January.
- Norton, Bryan & Costanza, Robert & Bishop, Richard C., 1998. "The evolution of preferences: Why 'sovereign' preferences may not lead to sustainable policies and what to do about it," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 193-211, February.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-964.
- David I. Stern, 2003.
"The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve,"
Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics
0302, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
- Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
- Ehrlich, Paul R. & Wolff, Gary & Daily, Gretchen C. & Hughes, Jennifer B. & Daily, Scott & Dalton, Michael & Goulder, Lawrence, 1999. "Knowledge and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 267-284, August.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1976.
"On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-162.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1974. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy," Working papers 125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Stiglitz Joseph E., 2009. "GDP Fetishism," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(8), pages 1-3, September.
- Howarth, Richard B., 1996. "Status effects and environmental externalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 25-34, January.
- Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
- Espey, James A. & Espey, Molly, 2004.
"Turning on the Lights: A Meta-Analysis of Residential Electricity Demand Elasticities,"
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 65-81, April.
- Espey, James A. & Espey, Molly, 2004. "Turning on the Lights: A Meta-Analysis of Residential Electricity Demand Elasticities," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(01), April.
- Martínez-Alier, Joan & Pascual, Unai & Vivien, Franck-Dominique & Zaccai, Edwin, 2010. "Sustainable de-growth: Mapping the context, criticisms and future prospects of an emergent paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1741-1747, July.
- Alcott, Blake, 2008. "The sufficiency strategy: Would rich-world frugality lower environmental impact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 770-786, February.
- Ruud De Mooij & Jeroen van Den Bergh, 2002. "Growth and the Environment in Europe: A Guide to the Debate," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 79-91, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:5:p:881-890. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.