Is growth always good? Kate Raworth answers…

Growth is good …right? We endlessly talk about the importance of our economy growing, but can it ever do more harm than good…

Growth is good, right? After all, we want our gardens to grow, our children to grow, we seek out personal growth.

But when it comes to the economy is growth always good news?

We so often assume it is, with a rise in GDP welcomed by investors and politicians, and constant talk about the importance of growth – and as growth as the solution to everything from raising incomes to cutting unemployment to shrinking inequality.

So in this episode of the Big Money Questions, we thought we’d just check in and see if this assumption is watertight.


Guest Kate Raworth suggests that while growth may have been the focus of the last century, this one has its own challenges – and needs a new aim.

She says: ‘What is an economy when it’s thriving? And it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always growing. I know that’s a really controversial thing to say because the whole of the last century of economics has been based on this idea that growth is the goal.

‘I want to question that because I think we’re moving into an era where we need a new goal, and it’s thriving.’

Kate, renegade economist who teaches at Oxford University, has an innovative vision about how we could refocus away from growth to thriving…and it all centres around a doughnut.

She has just published a book Doughnut Economics – Seven ways to think like a 21st-century Economist.