Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/184870
Authors: 
Richters, Oliver
Siemoneit, Andreas
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Oldenburg Discussion Papers in Economics V-414-18
Abstract: 
Economic growth has become a prominent political goal worldwide, despite its severe conflicts with ecological sustainability. Are "growth policies" only a question of political or individual will, or do "growth imperatives" exist that make them "inescapable"? We structure the debate along two dimensions: (a) degree of coerciveness between free will and coercion, and (b) types of agents affected. Carefully derived micro level definitions of "social coercion" and "growth imperative" are used to discuss several mechanisms which are suspected to make economic growth necessary for firms, households, and nation states. We identify technological innovations as a systematic necessity to net invest, trapping firms and households in a positive feedback loop to increase efficiency. Due to its resource consumption, the competitive advantage of a novel technology is often based on a violation of the meritocratic principle. The resulting dilemma between "technological unemployment" and the social necessity of high employment can explain why states "must" foster economic growth. Politically, we suggest market compliant institutions to limit resource consumption and redistribute economic rents.
Subjects: 
economic growth
social coercion
growth imperative
technology
resource consumption
unemployment
JEL: 
D11
D13
E22
O44
P10
P12
P18
Q01
Z13
Creative Commons License: 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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