Chapter 1: The idea of economic growth
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The emergence of economic growth out of the idea of progress is recounted. Its measurement as an increase in real GDP was given impetus by World War II and Keynesianism. Initially economic growth was seen as a means of securing full employment. This changed in the 1950s and 1960s when priority was given to growth, where it remains today. Despite objections from several leading economists in the 1960s and subsequent discussions of sustainable development since the 1980s, the pursuit of economic growth remains paramount though its limitations are recognized through the use of qualifying adjectives such as green, clean, inclusive and sustainable.

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