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Max Koch

Max Koch

Professor

Max Koch

Economic Development and Prosperity Patterns Around the World: Structural Challenges for a Global Steady-State Economy

Author

  • Martin Fritz
  • Max Koch

Summary, in English

Taking a global perspective this paper sets out to theoretically and empirically identify prosperity patterns for four groups of countries at different levels of economic development. It conceptualizes

‘prosperity’ in terms of ecological sustainability, social inclusion, and the quality of life and contextualizes this definition in global perspective. Subsequently, it operationalizes and measures these dimensions on the basis of data from sources such as the World Bank, the Global Footprint Network and the OECD for 138 countries and by applying dual multiple factor analysis. Building on earlier research that suggested that higher development levels in terms of GDP per capita are capable of providing social and individual prosperity but at the expense of environmental sustainability, we ask whether other interrelations between prosperity indicators exist on other levels of economic development. Empirically distinguishing between ‘rich’, ‘emerging’, ‘developing’ and ‘poor countries’ the paper

finds that social and individual prosperity indicators largely increase with economic development while ecological sustainability

indicators worsen. Our analyses further reveal that ‘social cohesion’ can be established under different economic and institutional conditions, that subjective wellbeing increases with income rises at all levels of economic development and that a decoupling of carbon emissions from the provision of prosperity is,in principle, achievable, while a reduction of the global matter and energy throughput poses a much greater challenge. The paper concludes by highlighting the repercussions of these findings for the

trajectories that countries at different levels of economic development would need to undertake.

Department/s

  • School of Social Work

Publishing year

2016

Language

English

Pages

41-48

Publication/Series

Global Environmental Change

Volume

38

Issue

May

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Global Environmental Change, Elsevier

Topic

  • Other Social Sciences

Keywords

  • Prosperity
  • Global steady-state economy
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Economic development
  • Degrowth
  • Cross-country analysis

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0959-3780