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Growth and Inequalities in a Physicist’s View

Angelo Tartaglia ()
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Angelo Tartaglia: INAF and Politecnico di Torino

Biophysical Economics and Resource Quality, 2020, vol. 5, issue 2, 1-9

Abstract: Abstract It is still common wisdom among economists, politicians, and lay people that economic growth is a necessity of our social systems, at least to avoid distributional conflicts. This paper challenges such belief moving from a purely physical theoretical perspective. It formally considers the constraints imposed by a finite environment on the prospect of continuous growth, including the dynamics of costs. As costs grow faster than production, it is easy to deduce a final unavoidable global collapse. Then, analyzing and discussing the evolution of the unequal share of wealth under the premises of growth and competition, it is shown that the increase of inequalities is a necessary consequence of the premises.

Keywords: Growth; Collapse; Inequality; Physical constraints (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s41247-020-00071-6

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