The Limits to Degrowth: A Systematic Analysis of Monetary and Distributional Policy Proposals in the Degrowth Literature

39 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2022

See all articles by John-Oliver Engler

John-Oliver Engler

University of Vechta

Max-Friedemann Kretschmer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Joe A. Ament

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Huth

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Henrik von Wehrden

Leuphana University of Lueneburg

Abstract

In academia and political debates, the notion of ‘degrowth’ has gained traction since the dawn of the 21st century. While some uncertainty around its exact definition remains, research on degrowth revolves around ‘a planned reduction of energy and resource use’ (Hickel 2021, 1105) as a unifying theme. Here, we employ a mixed-methods design and systematically review the scientific peer-reviewed English literature on degrowth published in the period 2007 – 2019 (N = 341). We find a wide lack of concrete distributional and monetary policy proposals in the sample analyzed. Moreover, we find that the scientific peer-reviewed literature on degrowth can be grouped into four major clusters along two major gradients, one along methodology (qualitative-quantitative) and the other along spatial scale (local-global). We conclude that degrowth scholarship would benefit from a more prominent discussion of the political implications of its ideas and proposals, and that in particular the debate about distributional policy implications of degrowth should be more prominent and concrete, with a stronger focus on distributional policies that enable a steady-state economy.

Keywords: degrowth, décroissance, heterodox economics, necessity of economic growth, interest rate, distributional policy, monetary policy

Suggested Citation

Engler, John-Oliver and Kretschmer, Max-Friedemann and Ament, Joe A. and Huth, Thomas and von Wehrden, Henrik, The Limits to Degrowth: A Systematic Analysis of Monetary and Distributional Policy Proposals in the Degrowth Literature. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4089414 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4089414

John-Oliver Engler (Contact Author)

University of Vechta ( email )

Max-Friedemann Kretschmer

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Joe A. Ament

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Thomas Huth

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Henrik Von Wehrden

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany

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