Contributors: Fritz, Martin (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Scientific paper contribution: Ecological sustainability, social inclusion and the quality of life: Identifying potentials for prosperity without growth
The paper is co-authored by Prof. Max Koch
Abstract: Recent contributions to ecological economics and related sciences indicate that issues such as climate change, resource depletion and environmental degradation cannot be effectively addressed under conditions of continued economic growth. This paper aims to identify potentials for prosperity in the absence of economic growth. Its theoretical focus builds on the growing literature that interprets economic policy goals in terms other than GDP growth and instead highlights individual and social welfare, well-being, capabilities and the quality of life. The paper employs an empirical three-dimensional approach to operationalise ‘prosperity’ in terms of social inclusion, ecological sustainability and the quality of life. Cluster and correspondence analyses are run for 35 advanced capitalist countries on the basis of data from sources such as the World Bank and the Global Footprint Network. 'Prosperity regimes’ are identified and contrasted with established welfare regimes. The paper concludes with identifying countries that combine decent levels of prosperity with comparatively low levels of GDP per capita and with raising issues for future research and policy making.