Book Summary: Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth Book Cover

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist is a book written by Kate Raworth, an economist, and a professor at the University of Oxford. The book was published in 2017 and has gained a lot of attention from economists, policymakers, and the general public. The book proposes a new way of thinking about economics, one that goes beyond the traditional neoclassical economics that has dominated the field for centuries. The book argues that the current economic system is not sustainable and that we need to rethink our approach to economics to ensure a better future for all.

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1: The Economy We Want

In the first chapter, Raworth introduces the concept of the doughnut economy, which is a framework for thinking about economics that takes into account both human well-being and the health of the planet. She argues that the current economic system is not sustainable and that we need to rethink our approach to economics to ensure a better future for all. Raworth introduces the idea of the “doughnut” – a visual representation of the economic and environmental boundaries we need to stay within to ensure a sustainable future.

Chapter 2: The Economy We Have

In the second chapter, Raworth provides a critique of the current economic system, which she argues is based on outdated assumptions and is not equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. She argues that the current economic system is based on a narrow definition of economic growth and does not take into account the well-being of people or the environment. Raworth also argues that the current economic system is inherently unstable and prone to crisis.

Chapter 3: The Economy We Need

In the third chapter, Raworth outlines seven ways of thinking about economics that are more suited to the challenges of the 21st century. These include:

  • The well-being economy: An economy that prioritizes human well-being over economic growth
  • The distributive economy: An economy that prioritizes the distribution of resources and wealth
  • The regenerative economy: An economy that prioritizes the regeneration of natural resources
  • The collaborative economy: An economy that prioritizes collaboration and cooperation over competition
  • The innovative economy: An economy that prioritizes innovation and creativity over the accumulation of capital
  • The feminist economy: An economy that prioritizes gender equality and the well-being of women
  • The open economy: An economy that prioritizes openness and sharing over proprietary and closed systems
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Chapter 4: The Economy We Need in Action

In the fourth chapter, Raworth provides examples of how the seven ways of thinking about economics can be put into practice. She provides case studies of organizations and governments that are using these approaches to create more sustainable and equitable economies. Raworth also provides a detailed roadmap for how we can transition to a more sustainable and equitable economic system.

Conclusion

Overall, Doughnut Economics is a thought-provoking book that challenges us to rethink our approach to economics. Raworth provides a compelling argument for why the current economic system is not sustainable and offers a vision for a more equitable and sustainable future. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in economics, sustainability, or social justice.

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