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Downshifting in the fast lane: a post-Keynesian model of a consumer-led transition

This article presents a post-Keynesian model for studying the potential implications of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Emily Ghosh, Eric Kemp-Benedict / Published on 10 January 2018

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Kemp-Benedict, Eric, and Emily Ghosh. 2018. "Downshifting in the Fast Lane: A Post-Keynesian Model of a Consumer-Led Transition" Economies 6, no. 1: 3.

If the world’s countries seriously tackle the climate targets agreed in Paris, their citizens will likely experience substantial changes in production, consumption and employment.


This paper presents a long-run post-Keynesian model for studying the potential implications of a major transition on macroeconomic stability and employment. It is a demand-led model in which firms have considerable but not absolute freedom to administer prices, while household consumption exhibits inertia.

The model produces business cycles and long waves driven by technological change. The paper presents results for a “downshifting” scenario in which households voluntarily withdraw labor, and it discusses the implications of downshifting for stability, growth, and employment. It contrasts this downshifting scenario with ones in which households reduce consumption without withdrawing from the labor pool.

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SEI authors

2018 portrait of Emily Ghosh
Emily Ghosh



Eric Kemp-Benedict
Eric Kemp-Benedict

SEI Affiliated Researcher


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Topics and subtopics
Energy : Sustainable lifestyles / Climate : Fossil fuels
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