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Growth, A-Growth or Degrowth to Stay within Planetary Boundaries?

Author

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  • Jeroen van den Bergh
  • Giorgos Kallis

Abstract

The environmental sustainability of economic growth has been subject to much debate for many decades. Recently, two alternatives to the growth paradigm have been put forward: namely, "a-growth" and "degrowth." The first proposes to ignore GDP information and focus instead on sound environmental, social, and economic policies independently of their effects on economic growth. The second recommends a downscaling of the economy so as to make it consistent with biophysical boundaries. We compare these approaches in the context of the growth paradigm and examine whether they have any merit. We further consider the potential contribution of institutional economics to further develop such alternatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeroen van den Bergh & Giorgos Kallis, 2012. "Growth, A-Growth or Degrowth to Stay within Planetary Boundaries?," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 909-920.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:4:p:909-920
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624460404
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00975432, HAL.
    2. Thomas Sauer & Stephanie Barnebeck & Yannick Kalff & Judith Schicklinski, 2015. "The Role of Cities in the Socio-Ecological Transition of Europe (ROCSET)," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 93, WWWforEurope.
    3. Anna Dimitrova & Katarina Hollan & Daphne Laster & Andreas Reinstaller & Margit Schratzenstaller & Ewald Walterskirchen & Teresa Weiss, 2013. "Literature review on fundamental concepts and definitions, objectives and policy goals as well as instruments relevant for socio-ecological transition," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 40, WWWforEurope.
    4. Isabelle CASSIERS & Géraldine THIRY, 2014. "A High-Stakes Shift: Turning the Tide From GDP to New Prosperity Indicators," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. repec:eee:tefoso:v:124:y:2017:i:c:p:126-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1401-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Antonakakis, Nikolaos & Chatziantoniou, Ioannis & Filis, George, 2017. "Energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and economic growth: An ethical dilemma," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P1), pages 808-824.
    8. Ângelo Barroso & Cristina Chaves & Francisco Vitorino Martins & Manuel Castelo Branco, 2016. "On the possibility of sustainable development with less economic growth: a research note," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 1399-1414, October.
    9. Antonakakis, Nikolaos & Chatziantoniou, Ioannis & Filis, George, 2015. "Energy Consumption, CO2 Emissions, and Economic Growth: A Moral Dilemma," MPRA Paper 67422, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working Papers hal-00975432, HAL.
    11. Joutsenvirta, Maria, 2016. "A practice approach to the institutionalization of economic degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 23-32.
    12. Sigrid Stagl, 2014. "Ecological macroeconomics: reflections on labour markets," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 171-181, September.
    13. Schmelzer, Matthias, 2015. "The growth paradigm: History, hegemony, and the contested making of economic growthmanship," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 262-271.
    14. Pinkerton, Evelyn, 2015. "The role of moral economy in two British Columbia fisheries: Confronting neoliberal policies," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 410-419.
    15. Gendron, Corinne, 2014. "Beyond environmental and ecological economics: Proposal for an economic sociology of the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 240-253.

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