Classic growth scepticism reading

In: Uncategorized

29 Jul 2007

Someone asked me recently to recommend an essay or long article, available on the internet, to illustrate growth scepticism. I found it hard because the genre is fragmented. There is a vast literature of articles on specific topics but relatively little that gives a good overview of the subject. It is a jigsaw composed of numerous tiny pieces.

Eventually I decided on the 1996 United Nations Human Development Report on “Economic Growth and Human Development”. Although the report is ostensibly not anti-growth it warns growth can be: “jobless, voiceless, ruthless, rootless and futureless, and thus detrimental to human development.” Its focus is supposedly on the quality of growth rather than being hostile to economic expansion itself. But with support like that growth hardly needs opponents.

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