Building a new economy

Blog Post by E4A PhD Student Matt Burke

Why do mainstream economic policies of (over)developed nations, at all scales and in all sectors, continue to promote and depend upon unending economic growth? And how can we begin to understand alternatives? In a recent post to, author Eric Zencey, our friend and colleague at the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont, argues that “We need a post-infinite-growth economy (and a new breed of economist) respectful of the notion that there are ecological limits to economic activity.” Ecological economics offers an “alternative, finite-planet economic theory” for building a new economy. Check out the full post here.

Peter Victor, a lead faculty member with the E4A project, has done groundbreaking work on the development of economic policies that achieve critical social and ecological objectives without a dependence on perpetual economic growth. Using the LOWGROW dynamic simulation model, Victor and Rosenbluth (2007) explore a wide range of low growth scenarios in Canada, concluding that “much can be accomplished in developed countries without relying on economic growth,” including jobs and environmental protection. Note to political also-rans: there is an alternative!


Victor, P. A., and G. Rosenbluth (2007). Managing without Growth. Ecological Economics 61(2-3): 492–504.

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