Globalisation, Economic Transition and the Environment

Globalisation, Economic Transition and the Environment

Forging a Path to Sustainable Development

Edited by Philip Lawn

This book focuses on three critical issues pertaining to the broader goal of sustainable development – namely, the degenerative forces of globalisation, ecological sustainability requirements, and how best to negotiate the economic transition process.

Chapter 6: Economic transition in Australia: time to move towards a steady-state economy

Philip Lawn

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environment, ecological economics


This chapter focuses on the economic transition of Australia over the last half century. It does this by presenting the results of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) study of Australia for the period 1962–2010. The chapter begins with a description of the current economic, social, and environmental features of Australia as well as a brief overview of its historical economic developments. This puts into context the state of Australia’s genuine progress at the beginning of the study period and the probable factors affecting the direction and rate of its progress thereafter. A brief explanation of the GPI is then given, which includes a summary of the benefit and cost items used in its calculation and the valuation methods employed to estimate each of the items. Having done this, the GPI results of Australia are revealed and examined. The chapter concludes with identification of the major items impacting on Australia’s GPI; what this implies in terms of the recent transition of the Australian economy; and what Australia should do to advance its genuine progress.

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