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Towards a postgrowth economics: A viable postgrowth economy without increasing inequality

Project description

Viable post-growth economy with restrained inequality

The slowing of growth that is predicted by economists represents a major concern for EU policies with respect to development, environment and poverty. Since no industrial economy has experienced a long period of slow or negative growth, the management of a post-growth economy is uncertain. Which policies can prevent the rise of inequalities and poverty in slowing growth circumstances? The EU-funded PostGro project will combine existing theoretical research on post-growth viability with research into actions to impede the rise of inequality. The project will identify the parameters that make a viable post-growth economy and guard against further spread of inequality. It will also cross-check these parameters against historical case studies and evaluate policies for a viable and restrained inequality post-growth economy.


Economic growth seems unlikely to continue at current rates, if at all. But we currently do not have a plan of how to manage a postgrowth economy. This represents a major impediment to formulating policies for how the EU may best pursue its objectives for development, environmental protection, and the elimination of poverty in a future postgrowth economy. There is debate over whether our current economic system based on interest-bearing debt can be made viable postgrowth, and evidence that even slowing growth leads to increasing inequality. Here, I propose research to integrate existing theoretical research into postgrowth viability with research into measures to prevent inequality from increasing. Since no industrial economy has yet experienced prolonged periods of very slow or negative growth, I will test the predictions against historical case studies. The project will achieve four objectives: to identify the parameters in which a postgrowth economy is viable; to identify the parameters in which continually increasing inequality is also avoided; to test these parameters against historical case studies; and to draw on these results to evaluate policies for producing a postgrowth economy that is both viable and avoids inexorably increasing inequality.

The fellowship will allow me to broaden and deepen my knowledge of ecological economic approaches to postgrowth whilst bringing my knowledge of property economics, comparative institutions, and historical postgrowth to my hosts at ICTA. We will disseminate the results to academics and policy makers, with the historical aspect making quite technical debates much more accessible for communication to a wider public.

The fellowship will place me, and ICTA, at the forefront of the emerging field of theoretical and historical postgrowth research. I have developed a realistic implementation plan together with my hosts at ICTA, a world-leading centre for research into postgrowth.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 172 932,48