Economics at your fingertips  

The contested concept of growth imperatives: Technology and the fear of stagnation

Oliver Richters and Andreas Siemoneit
Additional contact information
Andreas Siemoneit: ZOE Institute for future-fit economiex,Bonn, Germany

No V-414-18, Working Papers from University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: Economic growth has become a prominent political goal worldwide, despite its severe conflicts with ecological sustainability. Are ‘growth policies’ only a question of political or individual will, or do ‘growth imperatives’ exist that make them ‘inescapable’? We structure the debate along two dimensions: (a) degree of coerciveness between free will and coercion, and (b) types of agents aected. Carefully derived micro level definitions of ‘social coercion’ and ‘growth imperative’ are used to discuss several mechanisms which are suspected to make economic growth necessary for firms, households, and nation states. We identify technological innovations as a systematic necessity to net invest, trapping firms and households in a positive feedback loop to increase eciency. Due to its resource consumption, the competitive advantage of a novel technology is often based on a violation of the meritocratic principle. The resulting dilemma between ‘technological unemployment’ and the social necessity of high employment can explain why states ‘must’ foster economic growth. Politically, we suggest market compliant institutions to limit resource consumption and redistribute economic rents.

Keywords: economic growth; social coercion; growth imperative; technology; resource consumption; unemployment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-11, Revised 2018-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ino
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Oldenburg Working Papers V-414-18

Downloads: (external link) ... ete/vwl/V-414-18.pdf First version, 2018 (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:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catharina Schramm ().

Page updated 2021-07-16
Handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:414