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From “Decent work and economic growth” to “Sustainable work and economic degrowth”: a new framework for SDG 8

Halliki Kreinin () and Ernest Aigner
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Halliki Kreinin: Vienna University of Economics and Business
Ernest Aigner: Vienna University of Economics and Business

Empirica, 2022, vol. 49, issue 2, No 2, 311 pages

Abstract: Abstract The sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) have successfully raised awareness and built momentum for taking collective action, while also remaining uncritical of the central causes of the environmental crises – economic growth, inequality, and overconsumption in the Global North. We analyse SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth” from the perspective of strong sustainability – as phenomena, institutions and ideologies – and find that it does not fit the criteria of strong sustainability. Based on this observation, we propose a novel framework for SDG8 in line with strong sustainability and the latest scientific research, “Sustainable Work and Economic Degrowth”, including a first proposal for new sub-goals, targets and indicators. This encompasses an integrated systems approach to achieving the SDGs’ overalls goals – a sustainable future for present and future generations. The key novel contributions of the paper include new indicators to measure societies’ dependence on economic growth, to ensure the provisioning of welfare independent of economic growth.

Keywords: Economic growth; Decent work; Degrowth; Sustainable work; SDG 8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10663-021-09526-5

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