EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Development and Dematerialization: An International Study

Julia K Steinberger, Fridolin Krausmann, Michael Getzner, Heinz Schandl and Jim West

PLOS ONE, 2013, vol. 8, issue 10, 1-11

Abstract: Economic development and growth depend on growing levels of resource use, and result in environmental impacts from large scale resource extraction and emissions of waste. In this study, we examine the resource dependency of economic activities over the past several decades for a set of countries comprising developing, emerging and mature industrialized economies. Rather than a single universal industrial development pathway, we find a diversity of economic dependencies on material use, made evident through cluster analysis. We conduct tests for relative and absolute decoupling of the economy from material use, and compare these with similar tests for decoupling from carbon emissions, both for single countries and country groupings using panel analysis. We show that, over the longer term, emerging and developing countries tend to have significantly larger material-economic coupling than mature industrialized economies (although this effect may be enhanced by trade patterns), but that the contrary is true for short-term coupling. Moreover, we demonstrate that absolute dematerialization limits economic growth rates, while the successful industrialization of developing countries inevitably requires a strong material component. Alternative development priorities are thus urgently needed both for mature and emerging economies: reducing absolute consumption levels for the former, and avoiding the trap of resource-intensive economic and human development for the latter.

Date: 2013
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070385 (text/html)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id= ... 70385&type=printable (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:plo:pone00:0070385

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070385

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in PLOS ONE from Public Library of Science
Bibliographic data for series maintained by plosone ().

 
Page updated 2021-04-14
Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0070385