Prosperity Without Growth
AuthorTim Jackson
Original titleProsperity without growth? The transition to a sustainable economy (report of the Sustainable Development Commission)[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
SubjectSustainability, economics, post-growth, prosperity
Published2009 (first edition)
2017 (second edition)
Tim Jackson presenting the 2017 German edition at Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 2017

Prosperity Without Growth is a book by author and economist Tim Jackson. It was originally released as a report by the Sustainable Development Commission. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine-year history when it was published in 2009. The report was later that year reworked and published as a book by Earthscan. A revised and expanded edition (Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow) was published in January 2017.[2]


By arguing that "prosperity – in any meaningful sense of the word – transcends material concerns",[3] the book summarizes the evidence showing that, beyond a certain point, growth does not increase human well-being. Prosperity without Growth analyses the complex relationships between economic growth, environmental crises and social recession. It proposes a route to a sustainable economy, and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in light of the evidence on what really contributes to people’s well-being.[1]

The second edition expands on these ideas and sets out the framework for what he calls "the economy of tomorrow". By attending the nature of enterprise as a form of social organisation, the meaning of work as participation in society, the function of investment as a commitment to the future; and the role of money as a social good, he demonstrates how the economy may be transformed in ways that protect employment, promote and facilitate social investment, reduce inequality and support both ecological and financial stability.[2]


The first edition was described by Le Monde as "one of the most outstanding pieces of environmental economics literature in recent years".[4][5] The sociologist Anthony Giddens referred to it as "a must-read for anyone concerned with issues of climate change and sustainability – bold, original and comprehensive." The second edition received endorsements from Yanis Varoufakis, who referred to it as "essential reading for those refusing to succumb to a dystopic future".[2] Noam Chomsky called it a "thoughtful and penetrating critique".[2] Herman Daly praised it with: "It is hard to improve a classic, but Jackson has done it... a clearly written yet scholarly union of moral vision, with solid economics."[2] Rowan Williams called it "one of the most important essays of our generation: both visionary and realistic, rooted in careful research and setting out difficult but achievable goals, it gives what we so badly need – an alternative to passivity, short-term selfishness and cynicism".[2]


The second edition of Prosperity without growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow is organised in eleven chapters:[2]

  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


Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (2009) has been translated into eighteen languages including Swedish (Välfärd utan tillväxt: så skapar vi ett hållbart samhälle, 2011), German (Wohlstand ohne Wachstum, 2011), French (Prospérité sans croissance, 2010), Greek (Ευημερία χωρίς ανάπτυξη, 2012), Spanish (Prosperidad sin crecimiento, 2011), Italian (Prosperità senza crescita, 2011), Dutch (Welvaart zonder groei, 2010) and Chinese (无增长的繁荣,2011).

The second edition, Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow (2017), has been translated into German,[6] French,[7] Italian,[8] and Danish.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Prosperity without growth? The transition to a sustainable economy Archived 2015-03-01 at the Wayback Machine (PDF Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine), report of the Sustainable Development Commission, March 2009 (page visited on 16 August 2016).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow (Routledge, 2017)". Routledge. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ Jackson, Tim (22 September 2011). "Has Western capitalism failed?'". BBC. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  4. ^ Prosperity without growth. Routledge.
  5. ^ Kempf, Hervé (3 January 2011). "Notre modèle actuel de croissance crée des dommages irréversibles sur l'environnement". Le Monde. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Wohlstand ohne Wachstum, das Update (2017)". Oekom Verlag. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Prospérité sans croissance" (PDF). DeBoeck. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  8. ^ Prosperità senza crescita. Edizioni Ambiente. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Få Velstand uden vækst af Tim Jackson som Hæftet bog på dansk". (in Danish). Retrieved 22 April 2021.