Degrowth is most commonly defined as a socially sustainable and equitable reduction (and eventually stabilisation) of society’s throughput. Throughput refers to the materials and energy that society extracts, processes, transports, and distributes, in order to consume and return back to the environment as waste. This paper builds on well-established ideas of the degrowth community and explores policy proposals from a system dynamics perspective. To better understand the underlying causal structure, it was necessary to go beyond the information available in the literature. Experts in the field of degrowth were contacted by means of an online questionnaire and the information collected was analysed and used to develop a simulation model which we employed to study potential impacts of implementing degrowth policies in developed countries. Simulation results confirm many of the experts’ predictions but also point to some unexpected consequences which would need to be addressed if these policies are to be seriously considered in the future.
- policy analysis
- system dynamics