Uneconomic Growth: in Theory, in Fact, in History and in Relation to Globalization

by Herman E. Daly, Clemens Lecture Series 11, 1999

"That which seems to be wealth may in verity be only the gilded index of far-reaching ruin . . ." John Ruskin, Unto the Last, 1862

Abstract. Growth is uneconomic when it increases environmental and social costs by more than it increases production benefits. Within the neoclassical paradigm uneconomic growth appears anomalous, although it is theoretically possible. Nevertheless, it is empirically likely that some northern countries have already entered a phase of uneconomic growth. Why does the dominant neoclassical paradigm make uneconomic growth seem anomalous, if not impossible?

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