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Managing without Growth, Second Edition

Slower by Design, not Disaster

Peter A. Victor

Ten 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
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Peter A. Victor

Preface and acknowledgments to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
1    The idea of economic growth
1.1    The idea of progress
1.2    Economic growth as progress
1.3    Keynesianism, GDP and full employment
1.4    From full employment to economic growth
1.5    Economists question growth
1.6    Economic growth remains paramount
1.7    Sustainable development – new wine in old bottles
1.8    Ecological modernization and green growth
1.9    Conclusion
1.10  What comes next?
2    Why manage without growth?
2.1    Growth is slowing down
2.2    The Anthropocene
2.3    Decouple and the economy can grow forever?
2.4    Managing without growth is not new
2.5    The meaning of managing without growth
2.6    Economies as open systems
2.7    Open systems and Russian dolls
2.8    Commodification
2.9    Conclusion
3    Systems, information and prices
3.1    Prices and information
3.2    The theory of the second best
3.3    The dual role of prices
3.4    Prices and time
3.5    Prices and the distribution of income and wealth
3.6    Other sources of information
3.7    Conclusion
4    Pricing nature
4.1    The meaning of monetary valuation
4.2    Natural capital: concerns and considerations
4.3    Conclusion
5    Limits to growth – sources
5.1    The economic cycle and the biosphere
5.2    Some lessons from the past
5.3    Materials
5.4    The special case of energy
5.5    Conclusion
6    Limits to growth – sinks and services
6.1    Planetary boundaries
6.2    Sinks
6.3    Services
6.4    Conclusion
7    Limits to growth – synthesis
7.1    System dynamics
7.2    Human appropriation of net primary production
7.3    The ecological footprint
7.4    Conclusion
8    Scale, composition and technology
8.1    Scale
8.2    Composition
8.3    Technology
8.4    IPAT
8.5    Making room – the case of carbon
8.6    Economic growth, CO2 and energy
8.7    The colors of growth
8.8    Conclusion
9    Economic growth and happiness
9.1    Does growth make people happy?
9.2    The Genuine Progress Indicator
9.3    Consumption: useful goods, status goods and public goods
9.4    Status, consumption and growth
9.5    Katie and Roberto go shopping
9.6    Conclusion
Annex 9A
10    The disappointments of economic growth
10.1    Economic growth and full employment
10.2    Economic growth and poverty
10.3    Economic growth and income inequality
10.4    Economic growth and wealth inequality
10.5    Economic growth and the environment
10.6    Conclusion
11    Managing without growth: exploring possibilities
11.1    An overview of LowGrow SFC
11.2    Performance indicators
11.3    Scenarios for the Canadian economy
11.4    Capitalism without growth?
11.5    Conclusion
12    Managing without growth: from simulations to reality
12.1    Population
12.2    Environment
12.3    Poverty and inequality
12.4    Reduced work time
12.5    Investment
12.6    Productivity
12.7    Technology
12.8    International trade
12.9    Consumption
12.10  Conclusion