IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/endesu/v18y2016i5d10.1007_s10668-016-9802-y.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the possibility of sustainable development with less economic growth: a research note

Author

Listed:
  • Ângelo Barroso

    (University of Porto)

  • Cristina Chaves

    () (University of Porto)

  • Francisco Vitorino Martins

    (University of Porto)

  • Manuel Castelo Branco

    (University of Porto)

Abstract

Abstract The main purpose of this paper is to discuss whether it is possible to achieve human development without or with less economic growth. For this to happen, it is important that developed countries can maintain high levels of human development while reducing the scale of production and consumption so that developing countries can achieve greater economic growth. Using panel data from 118 countries aggregated in ten blocks of countries, we assess the influence of “growth” on “development”, as proxied by a transformed variable “Social Human Development Index” (SHDI), controlling for the influence of geo-economic factors. In particular, we analyse whether developed countries present a weaker statistical relation between GDP and the social dimension of HDI than their less developed counterparts. Results reveal that the GDP elasticity of SHDI is higher in blocks of countries where the concentration of developing countries occurs than in blocks dominated by the presence of developed countries. Thus, it is possible to envisage that a slowdown in economic activity in developed countries may occur without great sacrifice of human development, at least when it is measured by health and education components. We interpret the findings as meaning that at an aggregate level there are conditions for development to occur without or with less growth.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:18:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9802-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9802-y
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10668-016-9802-y
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Costantini, Valeria & Monni, Salvatore, 2008. "Environment, human development and economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 867-880, February.
    2. Anand, Sudhir & Sen, Amartya, 2000. "Human Development and Economic Sustainability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2029-2049, December.
    3. Federico Demaria & Francois Schneider & Filka Sekulova & Joan Martinez-Alier, 2013. "What is Degrowth? From an Activist Slogan to a Social Movement," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 191-215, April.
    4. Gustav Ranis, Frances Stewart and Emma Samman, "undated". "Human Development: beyond the HDI," QEH Working Papers qehwps135, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Helen Kopnina, 2015. "Sustainability in environmental education: new strategic thinking," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 987-1002, October.
    6. Suri, Tavneet & Boozer, Michael A. & Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances, 2011. "Paths to Success: The Relationship Between Human Development and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 506-522, April.
    7. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances & Ramirez, Alejandro, 2000. "Economic Growth and Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-219, February.
    8. Victor, Peter A. & Rosenbluth, Gideon, 2007. "Managing without growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 492-504, March.
    9. Eric Neumayer, 2012. "Human Development and Sustainability," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 561-579, November.
    10. Victor, Peter A., 2012. "Growth, degrowth and climate change: A scenario analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 206-212.
    11. Schmelzer, Matthias, 2015. "The growth paradigm: History, hegemony, and the contested making of economic growthmanship," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 262-271.
    12. Rubin, Amir & Segal, Dan, 2015. "The effects of economic growth on income inequality in the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 258-273.
    13. Sebastian Leitner & Mario Holzner, 2008. "Economic Inequality in Central, East and Southeast Europe," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 155-188.
    14. 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.
    15. Tony Pereira, 2012. "The transition to a sustainable society: a new social contract," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 273-281, April.
    16. Pickett, Kate E. & Wilkinson, Richard G., 2015. "Income inequality and health: A causal review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 316-326.
    17. Gert Goeminne & Erik Paredis, 2010. "The concept of ecological debt: some steps towards an enriched sustainability paradigm," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 691-712, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:18:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9802-y. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.