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An Economist’s Perspective on Degrowth - Lecture with Mikael Malmaeus

  • Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies (Biskopsgatan 3), lecture hall on the ground floor (map)

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

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.