Literature review on fundamental concepts and definitions, objectives and policy goals as well as instruments relevant for socio-ecological transition
The research project WWWforEurope undertakes to lie the theoretical and empirical foundations for the embarkment on a new socio-ecological growth path in Europe. The new path underlines the need to guarantee Welfare as a broad universal principle for its population, assuring economic and social prosperity. The new path stresses the value of achieving – what we call – Wealth, a value in which material and immaterial resources are combined with the goal to enrich people‘s lives and to preserve natural resources, nature and bio-diversity. Both cannot be achieved without Work: Europe needs to enable its population to achieve their life satisfaction at the highest level possible and Work is one of the most – if not, the most – fundamental precondition for this. In short, the overarching question the WWWforEurope project attempts to answer is what kind of new European growth and development strategy is necessary and feasible, enabling a socio-ecological transition to high levels of employment, well-being of its citizens, social inclusion, resilience of ecological systems and a significant contribution to the global common goods like climate stability. Thus the project’s central goals are to identify the forces and challenges necessitating deliberations on a new growth path, to define socio-ecological transition, key actors and main obstacles, and to find out how the process of a socio-ecological transition can be initiated, monitored, and accelerated on an institutional level (EU, national and regional level). A central prerequisite to successfully accomplish these central goals is to establish a common understanding of the central questions raised by this undertaking and to create awareness for the project’s systemic and interdisciplinary approach. To this behalf, this paper presents fundamental concepts, terms and definitions relevant for socio-ecological transition. Hereby the paper focuses on the concepts of sustainability, growth, innovation, welfare and well-being, wealth and work. We also look at the various dimensions and definitions of transition/transformation which can be found in the literature, trying to concretise the concept of a socio-ecological transition forming the context and starting point of the WWWforEurope project. The necessity to accomplish a socio-ecological transition represents the starting point and the background against which the concepts and terms addressed in this paper gain their relevance. Economic, environmental and social sustainability and sustainable growth and development, respectively, are the central and final aim of the envisaged socio-ecological transition. Sustainability is an indispensable precondition for societal and individual welfare/well-being. Socio-ecological transition to achieve sustainability requires putting into question the prevailing view on economic growth. While economic growth may help to reduce poverty or unemployment and may thus be positively related with social sustainability, this often implies negative external effects for the environment. Alternative growth concepts are to be explored therefore, which do not consider the economic dimension of sustainability only, but explicitly try to incorporate social and environmental aspects in addition. Several more sustainability-oriented growth concepts have been brought into the discussion more recently. All of them are departing from the empirical fact that with increasing levels of GDP per capita the relation between economic growth and societal as well as individual well-being is weakening and that economic growth on the contrary may even endanger environmental and social sustainability (e.g. due to too little time for family and friends) and thus negatively affect quality of life and well-being. A more sustainable perspective on growth requires a more sustainable view on innovation, as a central driver for growth. Within the context of a socio-ecological transition based on sustainable growth, ecological and social innovation gain in importance vis-à-vis purely profit-oriented innovation. Long-term growth is based on wealth as the productive base of an economy. Sustainable growth and development needs to rest on a comprehensive/inclusive wealth concept taking into account, besides the conventional material assets, also natural capital. Finally, socio-ecological transition will also affect the organisation of work/labour. This paper tries to define and concretise these fundamental concepts and terms. Thus it should provide some kind of lexicon, which serves as starting point and background for the work on the central questions guiding the WWWforEurope project. Wherever possible, the paper should facilitate the agreement on common definitions. It is not the aim of the paper to elaborate tradeoffs in depth and to offer solutions and answers already. It rather strives to motivate all research groups involved in the WWWforEurope project to use and discuss the existing concepts, may they be consistent or just offer a variety of thought. It also attempts at drawing attention to the existence of trade-offs and open questions relevant for the various research areas. Moreover, the paper wants to inspire the search for best (or the identification of not working) practices, and it wants to increase the awareness for existing barriers to change. While the paper is not able to elaborate in depth distributional and gender aspects as crucial cross-cutting issues, it aims at directing attention at them and at inspiring research undertaken in the WWWforEurope project to consider these cross-cutting issues. Finally, the paper does not focus too much on policy issues. It is the aim of the overall project to identify (potential) interlinkages, trade-offs and synergies and to discuss policy options and instruments in details to support a more dynamic, inclusive and ecological growth and development path for Europe.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| |
|Order Information:|| Postal: WWWforEurope Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna|
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.:
- Alfonso ARPAIA & Nicola CURCI, "undated".
"EU labour market behaviour during the Great Recession,"
wp2010-6, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
- Alfonso Arpaia & Nicola Curci, 2010. "EU labour market behaviour during the Great Recession," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 405, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Arpaia, Alfonso & Curci, Nicola, 2010. "EU labour market behaviour during the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 22393, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Philippe Aghion & Reinhilde Veugelers & David Hemous, 2009. "No Green Growth Without Innovation," Policy Briefs 353, Bruegel.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007.
"Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
- Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative income, happiness, and utility: An explanation for the Easterlin paradox and other puzzles," Post-Print halshs-00754299, HAL.
- Victor, Peter A. & Rosenbluth, Gideon, 2007. "Managing without growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 492-504, March.
- Hopkins, Michael, 1991. "Human development revisited: A new UNDP report," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1469-1473, October.
- Karl Aiginger & Gunther Tichy & Ewald Walterskirchen, 2006. "WIFO White Paper: Towards Higher Employment via Economic Growth Based on Innovation and Qualification," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 79(11), pages 781-794, November.
- Geels, Frank W., 2004. "From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems: Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 897-920, September.
- Hallegatte, Stephane & Heal, Geoffrey & Fay, Marianne & Treguer, David, 2011.
"From growth to green growth -- a framework,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5872, The World Bank.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 1998.
3708468, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1995. "Recombinant Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1722, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
- Pol, Eduardo & Ville, Simon, 2009.
"Social innovation: Buzz word or enduring term?,"
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics),
Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 878-885, December.
- Reinstaller, Andreas, 2007. "The division of labor in the firm: Agency, near-decomposability and the Babbage principle," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 293-322, December.
- Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"The Macroeconomics of Happiness,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Baumol, William J., 2007. "On income distribution and growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 545-548.
- Sacks, Daniel W. & Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2010.
"Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth,"
IZA Discussion Papers
5230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," NBER Working Papers 16441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 3206, CESifo Group Munich.
- Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective well-being, income, economic development and growth," Working Paper Series 2010-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Sacks, Daniel W. & Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 8048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972.
"Is Growth Obsolete?,"
in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth J Arrow, 2010.
"Sustainability and the Measurement of Wealth,"
NIESR Discussion Papers
369, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
- Kallis, Giorgos, 2011. "In defence of degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 873-880, March.
- Stephan Klasen & Dana Schüler, 2011. "Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure: Implementing Some Specific Proposals," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-30, January.
- Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh & Giorgos Kallis, 2012. "Growth, A-Growth or Degrowth to Stay within Planetary Boundaries?," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 46(4), pages 909-920, December.
- Olmstead, Alan L & Rhode, Paul, 1993. "Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 100-118, February.
- Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, March.
- Stephan Klasen, 2006. "UNDP's Gender-related Measures: Some Conceptual Problems and Possible Solutions," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 243-274.
- Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
- Peter Huber, 2008.
"Did previous EU-enlargements change the regional distribution of production? An empirical analysis of three enlargement episodes,"
International Journal of Public Policy,
Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(3/4), pages 187-206.
- Jonathan Aldred, 2006. "Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 141-161.
- Daly, Herman E., 1997. "Georgescu-Roegen versus Solow/Stiglitz," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 261-266, September.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2001.
"Directed Technical Change,"
NBER Working Papers
8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pearce, David, 1991. "Energy analysis of renewable energy sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 812-813, November.
- Common,Michael & Stagl,Sigrid, 2005. "Ecological Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521816458, October.
- Ed Diener, 2006. "Guidelines for National Indicators of Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 397-404, November.
- S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Environment versus growth -- A criticism of "degrowth" and a plea for "a-growth"," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 881-890, March.
- World Bank, 2012. "Inclusive Green Growth : The Pathway to Sustainable Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6058.
- Common, Mick & Perrings, Charles, 1992. "Towards an ecological economics of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-34, July.
- Grubler, Arnulf, 2012. "Energy transitions research: Insights and cautionary tales," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 8-16.
- Frank, Robert H. & Hutchens, Robert M., 1993. "Wages, seniority, and the demand for rising consumption profiles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 251-276, August.
- Common,Michael & Stagl,Sigrid, 2005. "Ecological Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016704, October.
- Lachman, Daniël A., 2013. "A survey and review of approaches to study transitions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 269-276.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:9:d:0:i:40. 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: ()
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.