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Reducing Growth to Achieve Environmental Sustainability: The Role of Work Hours (Thomas Weisskopf Festschrift Conference Paper)
Abstract:
Knight, Rosa and Schor argue that continued economic growth in the global North is antithetical to achieving long-term global environmental sustainability.  As such, they support the idea of reducing growth, or even achieving zero growth, as a central strategy for achieving environmental sustainability.  Moreover, they find that reducing work hours broadly is an effective way of ratcheting downward an economy’s growth path in an environmentally responsible way. They examine panel data for 29 high-income OECD countries, finding that countries with shorter work hours see reductions in both production and consumption.  This fall in production and consumption, in turn, has led to lower ecological footprints, carbon footprints, and carbon dioxide emissions.  Knight, Rosa, and Schor conclude by expressing the hope that their findings will help re-kindle a debate among radical economists about the fundamental problems tied to economic growth and how best to overcome these problems.  
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