Fourteen years after the publication of the first edition of this influential book, the evidence is even stronger that human economies are overwhelming the regenerative capacity of the planet. This book explains why long-term economic growth is infeasible, and why, especially in advanced economies, it is also undesirable. Simulations based on
real data show that managing without growth is a better alternative.
The book tells how the recent idea of economic growth emerged from the idea of
progress, itself only a few hundred years old. Many reasons for questioning growth
are given based on an extensive review of the data as well as on conceptual and
methodological considerations. The experience of growth in several countries is
documented, compared and found wanting.
Possibilities for managing without growth in high income economies are simulated
with a new, comprehensive systems model with many novel features. Three 50
year scenarios are compared: a base case, an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction
scenario, and a sustainable prosperity scenario with broader environmental
objectives, reduced income inequality, shorter working hours and the cessation of
economic growth. The book closes with a review of policies to make this scenario a
This updated book is a valuable resource for a broad academic audience, including
students and researchers in economics, environmental studies, environmental
science, business studies, and geography, as well as social justice groups and NGOs concerned with the environment, inequality and employment.