In the new episode of the Economics for Rebels podcast, co-host Sophus zu Ermgassen speaks to Charlie Gardner about the role of academics and universities in tackling climate change.
Economies organised around growth experience terrible welfare outcomes when growth rates decline, leading postgrowth economics to study mechanisms for mitigating these impacts. Two of the biggest challenges to postgrowth economics are debt and inequality, both of which are conventionally addressed through economic growth. So how can we study these questions empirically, given economies have consistently been growing since the industrial revolution? Today’s interviewee is Dr Tilman Hartley, an ecological economist and economic historian whose work has explored how pre-industrial, low- or no-growth societies dealt with these major economic challenges. Whilst today’s growth-oriented societies seem inevitable now, we often forget that the majority of human civilisations throughout history experienced almost no economic growth – so there’s rich data out there, if you know where to look.