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Biophysical limits of current debates on degrowth and the knowledge economy


  • Jesus Ramos-Martin

    (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Ecuador)


New or revived concepts such as degrowth and the knowledge economy represent a necessary criticism to the conventional view on economic growth, especially in regard to their environmental criticism. Both ideas are related as degrowth needs the application of knowledge in order to be operationalised and both share as a desirable outcome the reduction of working time. However, both concepts also bear common flaws in their criticism, due to the lack of attention in their analysis of the biophysical side of the economic process that has been analysed in approaches such as societal metabolism. The document discusses these weaknesses with the aim of stirring the much needed debate on the limits to growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Ramos-Martin, 2016. "Biophysical limits of current debates on degrowth and the knowledge economy," Documentos de Trabajo FLACSO Ecuador 2016_04, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).
  • Handle: RePEc:flc:flcwps:2016_04

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Degrowth; knowledge; sustainability; complexity; societal metabolism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • P18 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Energy; Environment
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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