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Dilemmas of Economic Growth

  • Duncan K Foley


    (New School for Social Research, Department of Economics, 6 East 16th, New York, NY 10003, USA.)

Geo-scientists and economists carry on discussions of central problems of economic growth, including global warming and resource exhaustion, on the basis of sharply diverging assumptions about limits to economic growth. These divergent assumptions can be traced at least to the debate over N. Georgescu-Roegen's work on entropy and economic production. Limited evidence indicates that economic growth sufficient to raise world average productivity to current European standards is at the edge of feasibility in terms of renewable energy. Rosy expectations that information technology can produce a “new” economy not subject to the resource and social limitations of traditional capitalism confuse new methods of appropriation of surplus value as rent with new methods of producing value. While the world economy will almost certainly transform from the small population, low labor productivity, rich fossil fuel-based resource base of the industrial revolution to a large population, high productivity, resource limited pattern, the social relations accompanying this change are far from certain or determined.

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 283-295

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Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:38:y:2012:i:3:p:283-295
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