Decent Work and Economic Growth

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Degrowth and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Ben RobraEmail author
  • Pasi HeikkurinenEmail author
Living reference work entry


Degrowth noun – (1) the biophysical process of degrowing, (2) something (e.g., an economy) that has degrown or is degrowing in terms of matter/energy throughput, (3) a movement aiming to reduce the size of the global economy and improving the overall well-being.

The term “degrowth” is created by adding the prefix “de-” to the word “growth.” The word indicates the removal, descent, and reversal of economic growth. Degrowth is operationalized by the notion of matter/energy throughput, which measures the biophysical metabolism of an economy, that is, how much nature humans use and transform in absolute terms (see Goodland and Daly 1996). An economy is degrowing when its matter/energy throughput reduces. It is important to note here that less gross domestic product/gross world product (GDP/GWP) does not necessarily signify decreasing matter-energy throughput, even if GDP and GWP are used as rough measures of throughput (see Boulding 1966). Therefore, biophysical input-output...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Edurne A. Inigo
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Management & Organization, Social Sciences GroupWageningen University and ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands