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Provisioning for sufficiency: envisaging production corridors

Bärnthaler, Richard and Gough, Ian ORCID: 0000-0002-0597-3106 (2023) Provisioning for sufficiency: envisaging production corridors. Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 19 (1). ISSN 1548-7733

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Identification Number: 10.1080/15487733.2023.2218690


This article deepens the framework of a sufficiency economy, defining sufficiency as the space between a floor of meeting needs and a ceiling of ungeneralizable excess. This framework can be applied to the domains of consumption and production. Complementing existing research on consumption corridors, our aim is to conceptualize the idea of a production corridor. To develop this notion, we survey a range of helpful concepts starting with objective and universal human needs to establish a “floor” and planetary boundaries to establish a “ceiling.” We then assess in some detail a range of conceptual debates that pertain to production: 1) Marxian categories of labor, 2) the production boundary, 3) provisioning and the foundational economy, 4) social reproduction, and 5) unnecessary labor. These debates permit us to start identifying essential production, which enables the satisfaction of human needs within planetary boundaries, and excess production, which contributes neither to need satisfaction nor human flourishing but drives planetary overshoot. This distinction further allows for an “in-between” domain of the economy, situated between the floor and ceiling. This discussion concludes with a more detailed model of production embedded in the framework of the sufficiency economy. We then “dynamize” this model to sketch a production corridor under climate-mitigation imperatives. It considers in turn the essential economy, the excess economy, and the in-between economy. The final section summarizes our depiction of the production corridor leading to rapid but fair decarbonization of the economy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E23 - Production
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E20 - General
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 09:45
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2024 21:33

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