Happy fish and economic growth

From [amazon_link id=”0415407087″ target=”_blank” ]The Theory of Economic Growth[/amazon_link] by Arthur Lewis (after whom my department building is named):

“[T]he advantage of economic growth is not that wealth increases happiness, but that it increases the range of human choice … We do not know what the purpose of life it, but if it were happiness then evolution might just as well have stopped a long time ago, since there is no reason to believe that men are happier than pigs or fishes. What distinguishes men from pigs is that men have greater control over their environment; not that they are more happy. And on this test, economic growth is greatly to be desired. The case for economic growth is that it gives man greater control over his environment and thereby increases his freedom.”

[amazon_image id=”0415407087″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Theory of Economic Growth[/amazon_image]

Shades of Sen’s [amazon_link id=”0192893300″ target=”_blank” ]capabilities approach[/amazon_link]. Lewis is quoted in H.W.Arndt’s [amazon_link id=”0582712130″ target=”_blank” ]The Rise and Fall of Economic Growth[/amazon_link].

[amazon_image id=”0192893300″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Development as Freedom[/amazon_image]

2 thoughts on “Happy fish and economic growth

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