Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to show by a simple, aggregate, descriptive model, how the importance of labor input to the production sector has to be revised in a future aiming at sustainable development. Despite substantial technological potentials for more eco-efficient utilization of nature, the starting point for this paper is that sooner or later people have to terminate the expansion of material standard of living, first in the affluent countries. This termination might happen as overshoot and collapse of the economies or by an orderly reached satiation, as suggested here. In this gradual process the production must comply with a stagnating or declining general consumption to avoid an endless build-up of surplus production. Consequently, it becomes essential to adjust labor input to the production sector accordingly. Temporary there are several outlets for a surplus production, for instance giving it away to countries more in need, but in the longer term the only solution is to limit the labor input to production, which is here meant as labor’s total contribution to production. This input can be split up into following factors: 1) Population, 2) Labor force fraction, 3) Working time, 4) Employ¬ment rate, and 5) Labor productivity. The mathematical product of these five factors is the production, which must be limited at some point in time. That is a physical fact, which points towards policies often contrary to present trend in conventional growth economies, but not necessarily contrary to public attitudes. The conflict between the interests of growth economies and trends in human’s wishes points towards some democratic leverage points for a gradual transition to a sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics : Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being
Publication date2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being - New Delhi, India
Duration: 15 Dec 200619 Dec 2006
Conference number: 9
http://www.isecoeco.org/isee-2006/

Conference

Conference9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics
Number9
CountryIndia
CityNew Delhi
Period15/12/200619/12/2006
Internet address

Bibliographical note

The paper was accepted and included in a proceedings in the form of a CD. But it was actually for various reasons not presented at the conference

Cite this

Nørgaard, J. (2006). Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability. In 9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being
Nørgaard, Jørgen. / Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability. 9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being. 2006.
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Nørgaard, J 2006, Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability. in 9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being. 9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics, New Delhi, India, 15/12/2006.

Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability. / Nørgaard, Jørgen.

9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being. 2006.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

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Nørgaard J. Limiting labor input is an overall prerequisite for sustainability. In 9th Biennial Conference of International Society for Ecological Economics: Ecological Sustainability and Human Well-being. 2006