Tim Jackson

Tim Jackson
University of Surrey · Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Professor
Director, Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, www.cusp.ac.uk

About

247
Publications
135,365
Reads
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14,573
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP)
Position
  • Managing Director
November 2013 - October 2016
Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy (PASSAGE)
Position
  • Professor
January 2011 - October 2014
Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG)
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (247)
Book
Material Concerns offers new perspectives on key environmental issues - pollution prevention, ecological economics, limits to sustainability, consumer behaviour and government policy. The first non-technical introduction to preventative environmental management (circular economy), Material Concerns offers realistic prospects for improving the quali...
Chapter
We are living in a consumer society. To say this, is not just to make obvious points about the massive expansion in the availability of consumer goods and services in developed economies over the last fifty years. It is not just to point to the structural reliance of those economies on consumption growth, or even to highlight the extensive commerci...
Article
Critics have long questioned the feasibility (and desirability) of exponential growth on a finite planet. More recently, mainstream economists have begun to suggest some ‘secular’ limits to growth. Declining growth rates have in their turn been identified as instrumental in increased inequality and the rise of political populism. This paper explore...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a stock-flow consistent (SFC) macroeconomic simulation model for Canada. We use the model to generate three very different stories about the future of the Canadian economy, covering the half century from 2017 to 2067: a Base Case Scenario in which current trends and relationships are projected into the future, a Carbon Reduction...
Book
Tim Jackson’s ground-breaking book Prosperity without Growth stands as an eloquent summary of the key ideas and core vision of his research and policy work over three decades. It was first published as a report to the UK government in 2009 and rapidly became a landmark in the sustainability debate, translated into 17 foreign languages. Tim’s pierci...
Preprint
Full-text available
The involvement of investment firms in the UK’s adult social care sector is a cause of mounting concern. Many of the strategies that investment firms use to achieve returns for their investors expose whole chains of care homes to large costs and increase the risk of bankruptcy and closure. This ‘financialisation’ of care has been implicated in the...
Article
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Long-term care systems across countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have undergone a progressive marketisation and financialisation in recent decades, characterised by the embedding of neoliberal market values such as competition, consumer choice, and the profit motive. In this Personal View, we argue that thes...
Article
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Strong materialistic values help to maintain consumer capitalism, but they can have negative consequences for individual well-being, for social equity and for environmental sustainability. In this paper, we add to the existing literature on the adverse consequences of materialistic values by highlighting their negative association with engagement i...
Article
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Materialistic values and lifestyles have been associated with detrimental effects on both personal and planetary health. Therefore, there is a pressing need to identify activities and lifestyles that both promote human wellbeing and protect ecological wellbeing. In this Personal View, we explore the dynamics of a psychological state known as flow,...
Article
In the UK and many of the world’s wealthiest economies, productivity growth has been falling since the 1970s. Explanations for this trend, known as the productivity puzzle, are contested. The uncertainty around continuous decreasing growth is a serious problem for national governments because the political goal of making productivity growth rise se...
Article
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This article examines youth participation the school climate strikes of 2018 and 2019 (also known as #Fridays4Future), through an exploratory study conducted in seven diverse cities. Despite the international nature of the climate strikes, we know little about the factors that influenced youth participation in these protests beyond the global North...
Article
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Aims: Research has shown that the possession of materialistic values can lead individuals to be less likely to experience flow, an important component of well-being. In this research, we test whether a lack of self-regulatory resources, and a tendency to use self-regulatory resources for avoidance purposes, can mediate this relationship. Methods: A...
Research
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Our current economic system depends on growth to function effectively. Several recent reports have aimed to understand this growth dependency and have sought ways to mitigate it. In light of the long-term slowdown in the growth rate already witnessed in advanced economies and the potential threats to economic growth from climate change, biodiversit...
Article
A number of papers in the field of net energy analysis have argued that declines in energy return on investment (EROI) could lead to increasing energy prices and a fall in economic growth. This paper develops a model (TranSim) which can simulate the economic and financial implications of an energy technology transition involving a reduction in EROI...
Article
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Labour productivity is a key concept for understanding the way modern economies use resources and features prominently in ecological economics. Ecological economists have questioned the desirability of labour productivity growth on both environmental and social grounds. In this paper we aim to contribute to ongoing debates by focusing on the link b...
Article
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The COVID‐19 pandemic, its impact on the global economy, and current delays in the negotiation of the post‐2020 global biodiversity agenda of the Convention on Biological Diversity heighten the urgency to build back better for biodiversity, sustainability, and well‐being. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Science‐Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ec...
Article
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Post‐pandemic recovery must address the systemic inequality that has been revealed by the coronavirus crisis. The roots of this inequality predate the pandemic and even the global financial crisis. They lie rather in the uneasy relationship between labor and capital under conditions of declining economic growth, such as those who have prevailed in...
Article
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Welfare systems across the OECD face many combined challenges, with rising inequality, demographic changes and environmental crises likely to drive up welfare demand in the coming decades. Economic growth is no longer a sustainable solution to these problems. It is therefore imperative that we consider how welfare systems will cope with these chall...
Article
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The need to locate ways of living that can be both beneficial to personal well-being and ecologically sustainable is becoming increasingly important. Flow experiences show promise for the achievement of personal and ecological well-being. However, it is not yet understood how the materialistic values promoted by our consumer cultures may impact our...
Article
Full-text available
Adult social care across the OECD is in crisis. Covid-19 has exposed deep fragilities which have combined to place unprecedented strain on social care organisations. Principal amongst these is the process of marketisation and financialisation of the social care sector. In this paper, we take a critical perspective on this process. We argue that ad...
Book
Capitalism is broken. The relentless pursuit of more has delivered climate catastrophe, social inequality and financial instability – and left us ill-prepared for life in a global pandemic. Tim Jackson’s passionate and provocative book dares us to imagine a world beyond capitalism – a place where relationship and meaning take precedence over profit...
Article
A COVID-19 járvány világszerte drámai és soha nem látott hatást gyakorolt az egészségügyre és a gazdaságra. Sok kormány gazdasági mentőcsomagot állít össze, hogy segítse a normális működéshez való visszatérést, ám az IPBES (Biológiai Sokféleség és Ökoszisztéma-szolgáltatás Kormányközi Testület) 2019-ben elfogadott Globális Felmérése szerint a gazda...
Article
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Background Cities are at the fore of sustainability challenges of the twenty-first century, and many, particularly in Asia and Africa, are predominantly youthful spaces. Understanding young people’s experiences in urban environments is therefore important as we strive to achieve both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Two am...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic and unprecedented impacts on both global health and economies. Many governments are now proposing recovery packages to get back to normal, but the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Global Assessment indicated that business as usual has created widespread...
Article
Full-text available
Background Young people’s processes of meaning-making in relation to what it means to live well are supported by the shared understandings of the good life that are available in their particular sociocultural and historical contexts. These understandings are tied to questions of environmental impact and social justice, as each ‘good life’ entails d...
Article
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While the consumerist approach to what living well can mean permeates traditional media, the extent to which it appears in people's own depictions of the good life is unclear. As the unsustainability of the consumerist approach is increasingly evidenced, both in terms of environmental and social impacts, looking into which understandings of the goo...
Chapter
The prospects for comprehensive, global economic growth are increasingly in doubt as evidence mounts that the human economy is exceeding the biophysical capacity of the planet to support it. If poor countries are to benefit from economic growth, at least for a while, rich countries should replace the pursuit of economic growth with other more speci...
Article
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In this paper, we aim to contribute to the literature on post-growth futures. Modern imaginings of the future are constrained by the assumptions of growth-based capitalism. To escape these assumptions we turn to utopian fiction. We explore depictions of work in Cokaygne, a utopian tradition dating back to the 12th century, and William Morris's 19th...
Article
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This paper utilizes Critical Slowing Down (CSD; instability) indicators developed by statistical physics to analyse economic growth rate variability and secular stagnation in historical GDP data. Understanding these phenomena is vital, particularly in advanced economies faced with declining growth rates. Two novel indicators - the autocorrelation (...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The UK is experiencing a period of low productivity growth. Although exacerbated by the financial crisis of 2008, the underlying trend is longer and more persistent. Trend labour productivity growth has been declining since the mid-1960s. Conventional understandings fall short of explaining the reasons behind this decline. The quality and availabil...
Chapter
This chapter outlines the essential elements of a research agenda for an ‘ecological macroeconomics’. The overarching objective of ecological macroeconomics is to investigate and promote transitions to economies that deliver sustainable prosperity for all. Central to the proposed research agenda is the need for a more profound analysis of the inter...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The UK is currently facing two inter-related socio-economic challenges. One is the now well-documented ‘productivity puzzle’; the crisis of persistent low productivity growth across the economy. The other is low levels in the mental and physical health of the working population, in particular. Wellbeing has been considered as a driver of higher lev...
Article
It is clear that the larger the economy becomes, the more difficult it is to decouple that growth from its material impacts… This isn’t to suggest that decoupling itself is either unnecessary or impossible. On the contrary, decoupling well-being from material throughput is vital if societies are to deliver a more sustainable prosperity—for people a...
Article
Full-text available
This working paper presents a stock-flow consistent (SFC) simulation model of a national economy, calibrated on the basis of Canadian data. LowGrow SFC describes the evolution of the Canadian economy in terms of six financial sectors whose behaviour is based on ‘stylised facts’ in the Post-Keynesian tradition. A key feature of the model is its abil...
Article
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Existing literatures have discussed both ethical issues in visual research with young people, and the problems associated with applying ‘universal’ ethical guidelines across varied cultural contexts. There has been little consideration, however, of specific issues raised in projects where visual research is being conducted with young people simulta...
Article
Robert Shiller’s new book probes how social behaviour trumps statistics in determining the fate of economies — Tim Jackson reviews. Robert Shiller’s new book probes how social behaviour trumps statistics in determining the fate of economies — Tim Jackson reviews. (Article is online on the Nature website: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-0...
Research
Full-text available
This briefing paper addresses the question of when the UK should aim for zero (or net zero) carbon emissions. Starting from the global carbon budget which would allow the world an estimated 66% chance of limiting climate warming to 1.5 o C, the paper derives a carbon budget for the UK of 2.5 GtCO2. The briefing then analyses a variety of emission p...
Research
Full-text available
Since its development in the 1930s, GDP has been the most widely used measure of the health and progress of an economy, being adopted as the principal policy objective of countless national and international bodies across the world. Its many shortcomings as a measure of progress are well documented, and the alternative indicators of progress develo...
Research
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This paper summarises the dilemma associated with using mainstream, macroeconomic models to guide disruptive, transformative change such as those that might occur under ‘deep decarbonisation’: a rapid transition to a net-zero carbon economy. On the one hand, some form of macro-economic modelling framework is essential to enable policy-makers to exe...
Article
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In this paper we explore how paying a living wage in global supply chains might affect employment and carbon emissions: Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 13. Previous work has advocated using wage increases for poorer workers to increase prices for wealthier consumers, thereby reducing consumption and associated environmental damage. However, the...
Article
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The report has made essential contributions to the understanding of what growth independence is, why we need it and what it could look like. We desperately need more such research, in particular on obstacles to a rapid transformation and on the role of inequality.
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper we explore how paying a living wage in global supply chains might affect employment and carbon emissions: Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 13. Previous work has advocated using wage increases for poorer workers to increase prices for wealthier consumers, thereby reducing consumption and associated environmental damage. However, the...
Chapter
In this chapter, Tim Jackson and Peter Victor present three scenarios generated with their LowGrow SFC model, describing alternative futures for Canada from 2017 to 2067. One scenario is a base case which is essentially a projection of the past into the future. The second scenario introduces a vigorous program of greenhouse gas reduction. The third...
Article
The need for an environmentally sustainable economy is indisputable but our understanding of the energy-economy interactions (dynamics) that will occur during the transition is insufficient. This raises fascinating questions on the future of economic growth, energy technology mix and energy availability. The crucial interactions between energy and...
Article
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The protection of environmental commons remains one of the most pressing problems in “col - lective action”, vital to the resilience and sustainability of societies and their economies. The discourse around “natural capital” potentially offers a way to integrate decisions about the com - mons effectively into economic decisions. Investing in the c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The second in this series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores inequality in the UK. It examines the evidence for rising inequality over the last fifty years, estimates the economic welfare lost to society from an unequal distribution of incomes and addresses the critical question of managing inequality in the context of de...
Article
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Research suggests that the excessive focus on the acquisition of material goods promoted by our consumer society may be detrimental to well-being. Current Western lifestyles, which promote unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, therefore risk failing to bring citizens the happiness they seek. Csikszentmihalyi suggested that engaging...
Article
Lorsque Tim Jackson profite d’une convalescence après une opération, en 2008, pour rédiger un rapport intitulé Prospérité sans croissance, il ne sait bien sûr pas que cet effort de remise en cause de la croissance déclenchera le plus grand écho mondial sur ce thème depuis la parution du rapport Halte à la croissance ?, en 1972, sous l’égide du Club...
Article
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PurposeThis paper explores the issue of fairness in global supply chains. Taking the Western European clothing supply chain as a case study, we demonstrate how applying a normative indicator in Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) can contribute academic and practical insights into debates on fairness. To do so, we develop a new indicator that addre...
Data
LowGrow SFC is a stock-flow consistent simulation model of the Canadian economy that you can access here to run scenarios.
Article
Introduction There are increasing concerns that people in modern societies spend too much of their leisure time on activities such as shopping and watching television and that this undermines human well-being and damages the environment. Objectives This paper explores the relationships between materialism, environmental values and life satisfactio...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This first in the series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores the underlying phenomenon of ‘secular stagnation’ – a long-term decline in the rate of growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The paper examines the evidence, explores the causes and discusses the implications of what some now call the ‘new normal’.
Chapter
I wake early on the day of the passage. Nylon halyards are beating an impatient samba on the aluminium mast. The wind has risen discernibly overnight and a tiny knot of anxiety clenches and unclenches in the pit of my stomach. Turning Tropical Wind’s errant stern to leave our narrow berth will be the first of several challenges for myself and my no...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper aims to contribute towards the development of a political economy of work fit for purpose in a world of social and environmental limits. In order to get beyond today’s dominant conceptions of work in a growth-based capitalism, it explores the role of work in historical utopias. First, we look at the Cokaygnian tradition of folk utopias,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Critics have long questioned the feasibility (and desirability) of exponential growth on a finite planet. More recently, mainstream economists have begun to suggest some ‘secular’ limits to growth. Sluggish recovery in the wake of the financial crisis has revived discussion of a ‘secular stagnation’ in advanced economies, in particular. Declining g...
Chapter
Tim Jackson’s chapter Towards Sustainable Consumption in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behaviour has been updated for the second edition of the international, multi-disciplinary and partly new collection, edited by Alan Lewis. It summarises the challenge inherent in recent policy debates about sustainable consumption, focusing i...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a previous paper we developed a simple stock-flow consistent (SFC) model of Savings, Inequality and Growth in a Macroeconomic account (SIGMA) to test Piketty’s hypothesis that declining growth rates lead to rising inequality (Jackson and Victor 2016). In this paper, we extend that analysis to show that inequality in a ‘post-growth’ economy depen...
Chapter
Macro-economic policy should be evaluated and devised according to sustainability criteria alongside economic and social criteria. Economic goals, whether growth of GDP, productivity or competitiveness should not trump equity/justice or sustainability. But nor should environmental goals trump social goals. The urgent challenge addressed in this cha...
Article
The growing extraction of natural resources and the waste and emissions resulting from their use are directly or indirectly responsible for humanity approaching or even surpassing critical planetary boundaries. A sound knowledge base of society’s metabolism, i.e., the physical exchange processes between society and its natural environment and the p...
Article
Rapid developments in technology and unpredictable economies are destabilising employment as we know it. What are the possible solutions? It’s not the demand for human labour that is disappearing, Tim Jackson argues, but the institutions and economics to deliver it. (This article first appeared in The Guardian, 15 August 2017.) Online at: https://w...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we use global multi-regional input-output analysis to explore how globalization has impacted fairness along Western European clothing supply chains. Our analysis shows that while globalization has made the Western European clothing supply chain ‘fairer’ by increasing employment opportunities and income for workers in the Brazil, Rus...
Article
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This paper explores what we will call the green economy as a potential solution to the multiple challenges from climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity to social injustice, and financial instability.1 Green economy is still a contested concept. At its worst, it simply provides cover for business-as-usual—the escalation of unsustain...
Article
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This paper explores the use of instability indicators developed in statistical physics to analyse the stability of the GDP within national longitudinal datasets. The work was inspired by an interest in the role of inter-decadal factors which may affect the economic growth rate, including debt overhang and a decline in the quality of physical resour...
Technical Report
Overview This paper explores what we will call the green economy as a potential solution to the multiple challenges from climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource scarcity to social injustice, and financial instability. 1 Green economy is still a contested concept. At its worst, it simply provides cover for business-as-usual—the escalation of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Consumer capitalism is unsustainable in environmental, social and even in financial terms. This paper explores the ramifications of the combined crises now faced by the prevailing growth-based model of economics. It traces briefly the evolution of western notions of progress and in particular it critiques the very narrow view of human nature on whi...
Article
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Rising demand for cheaper textiles and clothing in Western Europe is well documented, as are changes in the Textiles and Clothing industry's globalised production structure. We apply a sub-systems global multi-regional input–output accounting framework to examine the sustainability implications of meeting Western European demand for textiles and cl...
Research
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Four and a half decades after the Club of Rome published its landmark report on Limits to Growth, the study remains critical to our understanding of economic prosperity. This new review of the Limits debate has been written to mark the launch of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Limits to Growth. The 1972 report articulated for the...
Working Paper
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Modern western economies (in the Eurozone and elsewhere) face a number of challenges over the coming decades. Achieving full employment, meeting climate change and other key environmental target s, and reducing inequality rank amongst the highest of these. The conventional route to achieving these goals has been to pursue economic growth. But this...
Chapter
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Households are accountable for nearly three quarters of global carbon emissions and thus understanding the drivers of these emissions is important if we are to make progress towards a low carbon future. This chapter starts by explaining the importance of using an appropriate consumption perspective accounting framework for assessing the carbon foot...
Article
This paper addresses the question of whether a capitalist economy can ever sustain a 'stationary' (or non-growing) state, or whether, as often claimed, capitalism has an inherent 'growth imperative' arising from the charging of interest on debt. We outline the development of a dedicated system dynamics macro-economic model for describing Financial...