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Managing Without Growth

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Managing Without Growth

Slower by Design, Not Disaster

Peter A. Victor

Peter A. Victor, Professor in Environmental Studies, York University, Canada

Winner of the 2011 Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize
2008 272 pp Hardback 978 1 84720 078 5
Paperback 978 1 84844 205 4

Hardback £83.00 on-line price £74.70

Paperback £27.00 on-line price £21.60


Series: Advances in Ecological Economics series

This book is also available as an ebook  978 1 84844 299 3 from -

‘Peter Victor clearly presents the arguments as to why already relatively rich countries may have to manage low or no growth in their economies if they wish to address rather than continue contributing to global environmental problems. His modelling suggests that managing without growth need not be the economic disaster that is so often assumed. This is a lucid book that provides an excellent introduction to this important but neglected area.’
– Paul Ekins, King's College London, UK


Futher information

Peter Victor challenges the priority that rich countries continue to give to economic growth as an over-arching objective of economic policy. The challenge is based on a critical analysis of the literature on environmental and resource limits to growth, on the disconnect between higher incomes and happiness, and on the failure of economic growth to meet other key economic, social and environmental policy objectives.

Shortly after World War II, economic growth became the paramount economic policy objective in most countries, a position that it maintains today. This book presents three arguments on why rich countries should turn away from economic growth as the primary policy objective and pursue more specific objectives that enhance wellbeing. The author contends that continued economic growth worldwide is unrealistic due to environmental and resource constraints. If rich countries continue to push growth, poorer countries, where the benefits are more evident, will lag. Rising incomes increase happiness and wellbeing only up to a level that has since been surpassed in rich countries. Moreover, economic growth has not brought full employment, eliminated poverty or reduced the burden of the economy on the environment. By combining a systems approach with more conventional economic analysis, Peter Victor provides new insights into a pressing issue at the frontier of ecological economics in a way that will appeal to a wide audience.

Academics, students, activists and interested lay readers will find this well argued book illuminating and compelling.

Full table of contents

Contents: Preface Prologue 1. The Idea of Economic Growth 2. Why Manage Without Growth? 3. Systems, Information and Prices 4. Limits to Growth – Sources 5. Limits to Growth – Sinks and Services 6. Limits to Growth – Synthesis 7. Scale, Composition and Technology 8. Economic Growth and Happiness 9. The Disappointments of Economic Growth 10. Managing Without Growth in Canada: Exploring the Possibilities 11. Policies for Managing Without Growth Bibliography Index

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