1st Edition

Herman Daly’s Economics for a Full World His Life and Ideas

By Peter A. Victor Copyright 2022
    320 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As the first biography of Professor Herman Daly, this book provides an in-depth account of one of the leading thinkers and most widely read writers on economics, environment and sustainability.

    Herman Daly’s economics for a full world, based on his steady-state economics, has been widely acknowledged through numerous prestigious international awards and prizes. Drawing on extensive interviews with Daly and in-depth analysis of his publications and debates, Peter Victor presents a unique insight into Daly’s life from childhood to the present day, describing his intellectual development, inspirations and influence. Much of the book is devoted to a comprehensive account of Daly’s foundational contributions to ecological economics. It describes how his insights and proposals have been received by economists and non-economists and the extraordinary relevance of Daly’s full world economics to solving the economic problems of today and tomorrow.

    Innovative and timely, this book will be of great interest to students, scholars, researchers, activists and policy makers concerned with economics, environment and sustainability.

    Foreword by Herman Daly


    1. Out of Texas
    2. Herman the Economist
    3. Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
    4. Economics as a Life Science
    5. Scale, Distribution, Allocation
    6. Measuring the Economy
    7. What’s Wrong with Economic Growth?
    8. Steady-State Economics
    9. In Defense of the Steady-State Economy
    10. Heterodox Critiques of the Steady-State Economy
    11. Population, Migration and Immigration
    12. Money and Banking
    13. Globalization and International Trade




    Peter A. Victor is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Canada.

    "No one has made a larger contribution than Herman Daly to what an economics for today’s "full world" needs to encompass, and how to make the transition to a steady state of sustainable wellbeing for humans and the rest of nature. Peter Victor’s biography is compelling and truly inspirational."

    Robert Costanza, Vice-Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Australia

    "Vibrant, timely and thoroughly accessible, Peter Victor’s elegant new biography charts the life and work of a genuine radical. Daly's steady-state economics marked a turning point in economic thinking with revolutionary implications. From polio survivor to World Bank advisor, Victor paints a sympathetic and long overdue portrait of an extraordinary man with extraordinary ideas."

    Tim Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity and Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey, UK

    "How appropriate to see a biography of one path-breaking Ecological Economist written by another! Peter Victor clearly explains Herman Daly’s contributions, showing how innovative and prescient Daly’s insights have proven to be. The personal stories that ground this book help make it an accessible entry-point into ways of considering the most challenging questions of our time.  

    Patricia E. (Ellie) Perkins, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Canada

    "A profound and captivating account of the life and ideas of Herman Daly, one of the founders of ecological economics. For Daly the economy is a subsystem of the biosphere, where economic efficiency is secondary to ecological sustainability, growth is subordinate to development, and scale and entropy rule supreme."

    Atif Kubursi, Department of Economics, McMaster University, Canada

    "I do not think it is too strong a statement to say that he should be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. His work is that meaningful and important."

    Elizabeth Troutt, Department of Economics, University of Manitoba, Canada

    "He is one of the clearest and most succinct thinkers and writers to whom I have been exposed to, posing issues of great complexity with enormous skill and simplicity."

    Peter May, Institute of Economics, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    "Herman was instrumental in shaping my views on all the work that I now do… Truly a kind, gentle man of enormous courage and wisdom. I revere him and cherish the times I have had with him. He deserves the Nobel, but so much more."

    L.Hunter Lovins, President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, Longmont, Colorado, USA

    "Looking for alternative approaches to the economics of natural resources, I found a light in Herman Daly’s publications."

    Alejandra Saravia, Researcher and Assistant Professor, Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia

    "Herman deserves a biography as he has inspired so many who question an endless growth economy!"

    Haydn Washington, Environmental scientist, writer and activist, PANGEA Research Unit, UNSW, Australia

    "He deserves to be recognized as one of the great economists of our time."

    Anders Hayden, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Dalhousie University, Canada

    "This man is a giant in an age of midgets. The best of the kind of southern gentlemen. A visionary in an age blinded by its own arrogance; drunk on a superficial idea of progress. We should all thank god for sending this man among us."

    Peter Brown, Professor, Bieler School of Environment/Natural Resource Sciences/Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

    "As a snooty physical scientist, I dismissed economics as shallow. Daly has converted me to appreciating how deep a subject it is."

    Robert Herendeen, Gund Affiliate, Adjunct Professor, Rubenstein School for the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, USA

    "Peter Victor's biography of Herman Daly is a worthy read for all who have been influenced by Daly's ideas. It will remind readers which parts of their own thinking can be traced back to the writings of this pioneer." Brett D. Dolter in Ecological Economics, Volume 200, October 2022