IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/tugdwp/179114.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Prices and Work in The New Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Goodwin, Neva

Abstract

The impetus for this paper is the urgent need is to figure out how a non-growing – even a shrinking – economy may be able to provide human well-being while beginning to restore the health of natural world. Twentieth century economic theory is not well able to conceptualize this problem, especially since it sees growth as necessary for jobs, jobs necessary for income, and income necessary for well-being. To unwind this chain will require some radical changes in economic theory. The theory must focus on the final goal of human well-being, in the present and the future, prior to the intermediate goals of growth, financial wealth, or the maximization of consumption. Equally critical, and difficult, is to find ways for economic theory to take account of human values, and identify the places where they are more salient than market values, or prices. This conceptualization must be done in a context where we have even more reason than usual to doubt our ability to predict the future. This is because the competing forces of technological progress, on the one hand, and the cumulative human impacts on the natural world, on the other, present us with some dramatically diverging possibilities for the future of work. In one possible scenario, technological advances make more and more jobs obsolete: the productive resources of the economy continue to be able to turn out a high level of material goods and services, but fewer and fewer people are needed to keep these processes going. The resulting “technological unemployment” could create massive poverty – unless societies can devise ways of sharing the wealth. The other possible future path is one in which, while the economy retains (with the normal slow decay) the store of capital goods (including technological and other knowledge, as well as information and transportation systems) that have been amassed in the last few hundred years, the system encounters serious constraints from the depletion and/or degradation of the natural resource inputs of energy, water, biota, minerals, and other materials. In this case the relative value of material (including energy) inputs is likely to rise relative to the value of human labor – a trend that would be the opposite of what has obtained quite steadily since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. A likely result of this reversal would be a general reduction in labor income, as well as an overall reduction in economic activity, as measured by GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodwin, Neva, 2014. "Prices and Work in The New Economy," Working Papers 179114, Tufts University, Global Development and Environment Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:tugdwp:179114
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/179114/files/14-01GoodwinPricesWork.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan M. Harris, 2013. "Green Keynesianism: Beyond Standard Growth Paradigms," GDAE Working Papers 13-02, GDAE, Tufts University.
    2. Neva Goodwin, 2014. "Prices and Work in The New Economy," GDAE Working Papers 14-01, GDAE, Tufts University.
    3. Wise, Timothy A. & Trist, Sarah E., 2010. "Buyer Power in U.S. Hog Markets: A Critical Review of the Literature," Working Papers 179085, Tufts University, Global Development and Environment Institute.
    4. Jonathan M. Harris, "undated". "10-05 "The Macroeconomics of Development without Throughput Growth"," GDAE Working Papers 10-05, GDAE, Tufts University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Capaldo, Jeronim, 2014. "Trade Hallucination: Risks of Trade Facilitation and Suggestions for Implementation," Working Papers 179115, Tufts University, Global Development and Environment Institute.
    2. Neva Goodwin, 2014. "Prices and Work in The New Economy," GDAE Working Papers 14-01, GDAE, Tufts University.
    3. Jeronim Capaldo, 2014. "Trade Hallucination: Risks of Trade Facilitation and Suggestions for Implementation," GDAE Working Papers 14-02, GDAE, Tufts University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor and Human Capital;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:ags:tugdwp:179114. 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: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/gdtufus.html .

    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.