Innovations in Sustainable Consumption
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Innovations in Sustainable Consumption

New Economics, Socio-technical Transitions and Social Practices

Edited by Maurie J. Cohen, Halina Szejnwald Brown and Philip J. Vergragt

This timely volume recognizes that traditional policy approaches to reduce human impacts on the environment through technological change – for example, emphasizing resource efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources – are insufficient to meet the most pressing sustainability challenges of the twenty-first century. Instead, the editors and contributors argue that we must fundamentally reconfigure our lifestyles and social institutions if we are to make the transition toward a truly sustainable future.
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Chapter 4: Going for a better life

John Stutz


During the late 1930s, economic growth emerged as a focus of national policy. At first this development was confined to the nations of Western Europe and North America. However, it rapidly spread throughout the globe. Writing in 1964, James Tobin described the situation in the following terms: In recent years economic growth has come to occupy an exalted position in the hierarchy of goals of government policy, both in the United States and abroad, both in advanced and in less developed countries, both in centrally controlled and decentralized economies. (Tobin, 1964, p. 1)

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