The Aim of Doughnut Economics

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Kate Raworth (2017) Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. London: Random House Business Books

A highly praised book which repays reading by all who are concerned to ensure that the determinants of health can be met in future. The author challenges growth based economics and presents a new way of economic thinking using the model of a ring doughnut.

The Doughnut offers a new compass for guiding humanity this century. The doughnut diagram has two rings.

The inner one represents a sufficiency of the resources needed for a good life including water, food, sanitation energy education, democracy and healthcare. Anyone living within that ring – the hole in the middle of the doughnut is in a state of deprivation.

The outer ring, the ecological ceiling consists of the earth’s environmental limits beyond which are pressures such as climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution etc on the Earth’s life-giving systems.

Between the inner and outer ring is an ecologically safe and socially just space for humanity. The task is to bring all of humanity within this space by acting on both the ecological pressures and the shortfalls in social foundations.

According to Raworth the aim of economic activity should be to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. Instead of economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive we need economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow.