Growth or Development?

One of the most important concepts in what came to be called ecological economics is the distinction between “growth” and “development” – a feature absent in mainstream economics. In traditional economic thinking both “growth” (a quantitative measure) and “development” (a qualitative one) are thrown together and merged into “economic growth”, mostly understood as growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). This generalization is highly problematic and has tremendous influence on sustainability. At the same time, it is so deeply anchored in standard economic thinking that it would take a lot of effort to change this failure. Continue reading