An Economist’s Perspective on Degrowth – Two Events with Mikael Malmaeus 17 January (Malmö) and 18 January (Lund)

We are excited to invite you to the opening of a series of events on degrowth organised by the Institute for Degrowth Studies / Institutet för nerväxtstudier. After the much acclaimed 6th International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in August we continue to arrange diverse events on degrowth and socio-ecological transformation.

We kickstart this year with two events in January: a lecture in Lund and a degrowth cafe in Malmö with Mikael Malmaeus from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Stockholm. Mikael was part of the conference organising group, is involved in the Beyond GDP Growth research project, and is also the author of Tillväxt till varje pris.

What are the problems with today’s economy and how can it be different? These are the key questions that will be addressed in January. So join in!

17 January, Malmö – Degrowth Café
Location: ABF Malmö, Spånehusvägen 47, Stora Salen
Time: 17:00-19:00

This is a participatory format, where the degrowth movement and the economist’s perspective on it will be introduced, followed by participants’ discussion.

18 January, Lund – Lecture
Location: Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies (Biskopsgatan 3), lecture hall on the ground floor
Time: 13:00-14:45

Mikael will give a lecture on the topic, followed by Q&A. Please find the description of the lecture below.

Looking forward to seeing you in Malmö and/or Lund!

Summary of the events
Orthodox economists have usually assumed that technology alone can create economic growth without increasing the use of resources, a proposition supported by microeconomic production functions which have been in use since the 1930s. The association of growth with good economic performance can also be traced back to the same period with Keynes and the depression economics. Since the 1950s economic growth has been an official policy objective in most western countries. Low or negative growth is usually associated with hardship and economic instability. From this viewpoint degrowth is hardly compatible with a healthy economy.

Mainstream economics, however represents a very narrow view of the economy. In fact, neoclassical (microeconomic) production functions are not suitable for understanding the macro economy and the proposition that technology can fuel economic growth without increasing the use of material resources lacks empirical support. There is also limited theoretical support for the view that economic growth is necessary for economic stability. A broader understanding of the functioning of the real economy makes a much stronger case for degrowth, which will be further discussed at the events in Malmö and Lund.