|4 June 1957
|University of Surrey
| Prosperity Without Growth (2009)
Material Concerns (1996)
|Part of a series on
Tim Jackson(born 1957) is a British ecological economist and professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey. He is the director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), a multi-disciplinary, international research consortium which aims to understand the economic, social and political dimensions of sustainable prosperity. Tim Jackson is the author of Prosperity Without Growth (2009 and 2017) and Material Concerns (1996). In 2016, he received the Hillary Laureate for exceptional mid-career Leadership. His most recent book Post Growth—Life After Capitalism was published in March 2021 by Polity Press.
For more than twenty five years, he has worked internationally on sustainable consumption and production.During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns – pollution profit and quality of life .
From 1995 to 2000, Jackson held an EPSRC fellowship on the Thermodynamics of Clean Technologies. From 2003 to 2005, he held a Professorial Research Fellowship on the social psychology of sustainable consumption. From 2006 to 2011 Jackson was Director of the ESRC Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment. From 2010 to 2014, he was Director of the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group. From 2013 to 2017, he was ESRC Professioral Research Fellow on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy.Since 2018 he sits on the advisory board of the ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies.
Since 2003, his research has focused on consumption, lifestyle and sustainability. In 2005, the Sustainable Development Research Networkpublished his widely cited review Motivating Sustainable Consumption. A respective Earthscan 'Reader' in Sustainable Consumption was issued in 2006. During 2006 and 2007 Tim Jackson was advisor and a regular contributor to BBC Newsnight's Ethical Man series.
In his function as Economics Commissioner on the Sustainable Development Commission,he authored a controversial report, later published by Earthscan/Routledge as Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (2009). A substantially revised second edition (Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow) was published in January 2017. By arguing that "prosperity – in any meaningful sense of the word – transcends material concerns", the book summarises the evidence showing that, beyond a certain point, growth does not increase human wellbeing. Prosperity without Growth analyses the complex relationships between growth, environmental crises and social recession. It proposes a route to a sustainable economy, and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in light of the evidence on what really contributes to people's wellbeing. In the wake of technological progress and the pursuit of ever-increasing profits, financial growth and its "skewed priorities" are linked to human exploitation and environmental destruction, which Jackson refers to as the "age of irresponsibility". "The clearest message from the financial crisis of 2008 is that our current model of economic success is fundamentally flawed. For the advanced economies of the Western world, prosperity without growth is no longer a utopian dream. It is a financial and ecological necessity."
The book was described by Le Monde as "one of the most outstanding pieces of environmental economics literature in recent years." – bold, original and comprehensive." Prosperity without Growth has been translated into 17 languages including Swedish, German, French, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and Chinese.The sociologist Anthony Giddens referred to it as "a must-read for anyone concerned with issues of climate change and sustainability
Tim Jackson was the founder and director of RESOLVE (Research Group on Lifestyles Values and Environment), – in collaboration with Peter Victor of York University in Toronto – the development of stock-flow consistent (SFC) macroeconomic simulation models, showing that improved environmental and social outcomes are possible even as the growth rate declines to zero.of its follow-on project: the Defra/ESRC Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG), and held an ERSC Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy (PASSAGE). His current work includes
In addition to his academic and advisory work,Jackson is a playwright with numerous BBC Radio writing credits to his name. His 30 episode environmental drama series Cry of the Bittern won a 1997 Public Awareness of Science (PAWS) Drama Award. The Language of Flowers, a drama documentary about the life and work of the 18th-century poet Christopher Smart, won the 2004 Prix Marulić. Jackson's most recent play, Variations, written around a Beethoven sonata of the same name, won the 2007 Grand Prix Marulić and was longlisted for the 2008 Sony awards.
Prior to the 2015 general election, he was one of several celebrities who endorsed the parliamentary candidacy of the Green Party's Caroline Lucas.He was Economics Commissioner on the UK's Sustainable Development Commission set up by the Labour Government under Gordon Brown in June 2000 and closed by the Coalition Government in March 2011.
Economics is a social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Economic history is the study of history using methodological tools from economics or with a special attention to economic phenomena. Research is conducted using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and the application of economic theory to historical situations and institutions. The field can encompass a wide variety of topics, including equality, finance, technology, labour, and business. It emphasizes historicizing the economy itself, analyzing it as a dynamic entity and attempting to provide insights into the way it is structured and conceived.
Economic growth can be defined as the increase or improvement in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy in a financial year. Statisticians conventionally measure such growth as the percent rate of increase in the real and nominal gross domestic product (GDP).
Consumerism is a social and economic order in which the goals of many individuals include the acquisition of goods and services beyond those that are necessary for survival or for traditional displays of status. Consumerism has historically existed in many societies, with modern consumerism originating in Western Europe before the Industrial Revolution and becoming widespread around 1900. In 1899, a book on consumerism published by Thorstein Veblen, called The Theory of the Leisure Class, examined the widespread values and economic institutions emerging along with the widespread "leisure time" at the beginning of the 20th century. In it, Veblen "views the activities and spending habits of this leisure class in terms of conspicuous and vicarious consumption and waste. Both relate to the display of status and not to functionality or usefulness."
Ecological economics, bioeconomics, ecolonomy, eco-economics, or ecol-econ is both a transdisciplinary and an interdisciplinary field of academic research addressing the interdependence and coevolution of human economies and natural ecosystems, both intertemporally and spatially. By treating the economy as a subsystem of Earth's larger ecosystem, and by emphasizing the preservation of natural capital, the field of ecological economics is differentiated from environmental economics, which is the mainstream economic analysis of the environment. One survey of German economists found that ecological and environmental economics are different schools of economic thought, with ecological economists emphasizing strong sustainability and rejecting the proposition that physical (human-made) capital can substitute for natural capital.
Overconsumption describes a situation where a consumer overuses their available goods and services to where they can't, or don't want to, replenish or reuse them. In microeconomics, this may be described as the point where the marginal cost of a consumer is greater than their marginal utility. The term overconsumption is quite controversial in use and does not necessarily have a single unifying definition. When used to refer to natural resources to the point where the environment is negatively affected, is it synonymous with the term overexploitation. However, when used in the broader economic sense, overconsumption can refer to all types of goods and services, including manmade ones, e.g. "the overconsumption of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning". Overconsumption is driven by several factors of the current global economy, including forces like consumerism, planned obsolescence, economic materialism, and other unsustainable business models and can be contrasted with sustainable consumption.
The ecological footprint is a method promoted by the Global Footprint Network to measure human demand on natural capital, i.e. the quantity of nature it takes to support people and their economies. It tracks this demand through an ecological accounting system. The accounts contrast the biologically productive area people use for their consumption to the biologically productive area available within a region, nation, or the world. In short, it is a measure of human impact on the environment and whether that impact is sustainable.
Eco-capitalism, also known as environmental capitalism or (sometimes) green capitalism, is the view that capital exists in nature as "natural capital" on which all wealth depends. Therefore, governments should use market-based policy-instruments to resolve environmental problems.
A green economy is an economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics, but has a more politically applied focus. The 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report argues "that to be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognizing global and country level equity dimensions, particularly in assuring a Just Transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive."
The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is an economic indicator intended to replace the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the main macroeconomic indicator of System of National Accounts (SNA). Rather than simply adding together all expenditures like the GDP, consumer spending is balanced by such factors as income distribution and cost associated with pollution and other unsustainable costs. The calculation excludes defence expenditures and considers a wider range of harmful effects of economic growth. It is similar to the genuine progress indicator (GPI).
A steady-state economy is an economy made up of a constant stock of physical wealth (capital) and a constant population size. In effect, such an economy does not grow in the course of time. The term usually refers to the national economy of a particular country, but it is also applicable to the economic system of a city, a region, or the entire world. Early in the history of economic thought, classical economist Adam Smith of the 18th century developed the concept of a stationary state of an economy: Smith believed that any national economy in the world would sooner or later settle in a final state of stationarity.
Earthscan is an English-language publisher of books and journals on climate change, sustainable development and environmental technology for academic, professional and general readers.
Prosperity is the flourishing, thriving, good fortune and successful social status. Prosperity often produces profuse wealth including other factors which can be profusely wealthy in all degrees, such as happiness and health.
Degrowth or post-growth economics is an academic and social movement critical of the concept of growth in gross domestic product as a measure of human and economic development. Degrowth theory is based on ideas and research from a multitude of disciplines such as economics, economic anthropology, ecological economics, environmental sciences and development studies. It argues that the unitary focus of modern capitalism on growth, in terms of monetary value of aggregate goods and services, causes widespread ecological damage and is not necessary for the further increase of human living standards. Degrowth theory has been met with both academic acclaim and considerable criticism.
Prosperity Without Growth is a book by author and economist Tim Jackson. It was originally released as a report by the Sustainable Development Commission. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine-year history when it was published in 2009. The report was later that year reworked and published as a book by Earthscan. A revised and expanded edition was published in January 2017.
In economic and environmental fields, decoupling refers to an economy that would be able to grow without corresponding increases in environmental pressure. In many economies, increasing production (GDP) raises pressure on the environment. An economy that would be able to sustain economic growth while reducing the amount of resources such as water or fossil fuels used and delink environmental deterioration at the same time would be said to be decoupled. Environmental pressure is often measured using emissions of pollutants, and decoupling is often measured by the emission intensity of economic output. However, it is arguable that emission intensity does not adequately reflect the exponential impact on the instability of ecosystems when climate tipping points are passed. During the 2023 World Economic Forum Johan Rockstrom explained that the exponential domino effect has now commenced.
Post-growth is a stance on economic growth concerning the limits-to-growth dilemma — recognition that, on a planet of finite material resources, extractive economies and populations cannot grow infinitely. The term "post-growth" acknowledges that economic growth can generate beneficial effects up to a point, but beyond that point it is necessary to look for other indicators and techniques to increase human wellbeing.
Neva Goodwin Rockefeller, known professionally as Neva Goodwin, is co-director of the Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University, where she is a research associate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and director of the Social Science Library: Frontier Thinking in Sustainable Development and Human Well-Being.
Jason Edward Hickel is an Eswati anthropologist, author, and professor at the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Hickel's research and writing focuses on economic anthropology and development, and is particularly critical of capitalism, neocolonialism, as well as economic growth as a model of human development.
Growth imperative is a term in economic theory regarding a possible necessity of economic growth. On the micro level, it describes mechanisms that force firms or consumers (households) to increase revenues or consumption to not endanger their income. On the macro level, a political growth imperative exists if economic growth is necessary to avoid economic and social instability or to retain democratic legitimacy, so that other political goals such as climate change mitigation or a reduction of inequality are subordinated to growth policies.