Chenyao Zhou (King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls) reviews Kate Raworth's 'Doughnut Economics'

Obsessing over economic growth, has caused instability and depleted the Earth. The Doughnut offers guidance on how to move away from economic growth to thriving in balance. 

Raworth debunked the economic growth with the Doughnut in a humble manner. This was shown by the evidence of the shortfall, such as indicating the 11% of the population who are malnourished in a simple drawing. This highlights the voids in economic theory, which means it needs to be rewritten. She admits the Doughnut is not a perfect model for all contexts, so it should be adapted.

In one of Raworth’s steps to reach the ‘sweet spot’ in the Doughnut, the economy is compared to a flock of mesmerising swallows. However, this analogy fails to show the different parts of the economy are much more connected than the relationships in a flock, although it does highlight the dynamic of the economy, which has been blatantly ignored in mainstream economics.

Overall, we need to stop pursuing economic growth to solve other human long-term goals, instead of self-interest leading us to a market equilibrium we are altruistic to live in the planet boundaries. In my opinion, the Doughnut is better than the current economic model that we have because it addresses the assumptions in economic theory. I give a 4 out of 5 stars for sustainability because it shows the goal can be changed. On the other hand, it lacks real life implementation examples because this idea is new, but the Doughnut Action Lab fills this gap. If you enjoy reading ‘Doughnut Economics,’ you may also want to read ‘Poor Economics’ because it explores in depth about how instead of using monetary incentives, we can use nudges that tap into human’s values to solve global poverty. 

Something I agreed with in this book was…

We need to evict economic growth from humans' long-term goals because it is impossible to endlessly grow, even though growth is necessary.

Something I disagreed with in this book was…

Raworth sits on the fence about whether ‘green growth is possible’, but the circular economy shows we can cut waste and reuse resources. 

Something I learnt from reading this book that I didn't know about this subject before was…

Economic growth isn’t the solution to our problems, it is one of the causes of our problems.