Economic growth is supposed to deliver prosperity. Higher incomes should mean better choices, richer lives, an improved quality of life for us all. That at least is the conventional wisdom. But things haven’t always turned out that way.

Growth has delivered its benefits, at best, unequally. A fifth of the world’s population still earns just 2% of global income. Inequality is higher in the OECD nations than it was 20 years ago. And while the rich got richer, middle-class incomes in Western countries were stagnant in real terms long before the financial crisis. Far from raising the living standard for those who most needed it, growth let much of the world’s population down. Wealth trickled up to the lucky few.

Tim Jackson’s ground-breaking Prosperity without Growth acknowledges at the outset that poorer nations stand in urgent need of economic development. But it also questions whether ever-rising incomes for the already-rich are an appropriate goal for policy in a world constrained by ecological limits. Tim examines both the dynamics of crisis and the true meaning of prosperity. He explores the intriguing possibility that humans can flourish – and in particular participate meaningfully and creatively in the life of society – in less materialistic ways.

The clearest message from the last five years 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 an Utopian dream. It is a financial and ecological necessity.


Foreword to the first edition :: Prologue to the second edition :: 1 The limits to growth :: 2 Prosperity lost :: 3 Redefining prosperity :: 4 The dilemma of growth :: 5 The myth of decoupling :: 6 The ‘iron cage’ of consumerism :: 7 Flourishing–within limits :: 8 Foundations for the economy of tomorrow :: 9 Towards a ‘post-growth’ macroeconomics :: 10 The progressive State :: 11 A lasting prosperity :: Notes.

George Monbiot: As the dream of economic growth dies, a new plan awaits testing | 22 August 2011, The Guardian
… Read the article here.

Jeremy Leggett: Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson
23 January 2010, The Guardian
… Read the review here.

Ed Crooks: Prosperity without Growth
23 November 2009, The Financial Times
… Read the review here.

Jeremy Lovell: Can You Have Prosperity Without Growth?
17 November 2009, The New York Times
… Read the review here.