Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

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9781138853928: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
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The last two centuries have witnessed more profound change for the human race than the previous hundred centuries combined. Population growth, economic growth, and climate change have all been unprecedented.

Economic growth, reflected in increases in national output per capita, makes possible an improved material standard of living and the alleviation of poverty. Sustainable development, popularly and concisely defined as ‘meeting the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,' directly addresses the utilization of natural resources, the state of the environment, and intergenerational equity.

Fundamental questions addressed in this textbook include:

  • What causes economic growth?
  • Why do some economies grow faster than others?
  • What accounts for the extraordinary growth in the world population over the past two centuries, from one billion to seven billion?
  • Why is the world population expected to stabilize below ten billion and then maybe decline in the next fifty years?
  • Are there limits to economic growth and population growth due to resource constraints and environmental thresholds?
  • Is sustainable development compatible with economic growth?
  • Can sustainable development be attained without addressing the extreme poverty that afflicts over a sixth of the world population?
  • Why is climate change the greatest market failure of all time?
  • What are the likely consequences of ‘business as usual’ and what can be done to mitigate global warming and climate change?

With a blend of formal models, empirical evidence, history and statistics, this text provides a coherent and comprehensive treatment of economic growth and sustainable development.

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