Economic Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster

Authored by: Peter Victor

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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The prospects for comprehensive, global economic growth are increasingly in doubt as evidence mounts that the human economy is exceeding the biophysical capacity of the planet to support it. If poor countries are to benefit from economic growth, at least for a while, rich countries should replace the pursuit of economic growth with other more specific objectives to enhance human well-being and reduce competition with other species. What is entailed in an economy in which the rate of growth is lowered, even to zero? Some insights into this question are provided using the interactive, macro model LowGrow that simulates the Canadian economy to the year 2035. In this entry, scenarios are described in which there is full employment, no poverty, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and fiscal balance in Canada without economic growth. The entry concludes with a discussion of policy implications.

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